News

Child critical after car crashes through Costco in London, Ont.

By Jane Sims, Jennifer O'Brien, Randy Richmond, The London Free Press

Six people were injured after a car crashed into Costco on Wellington Rd. S. in London. JENNIFER O'BRIEN / THE LONDON FREE PRESS

Six people were injured after a car crashed into Costco on Wellington Rd. S. in London. JENNIFER O'BRIEN / THE LONDON FREE PRESS

LONDON, Ont. — A six-year-old girl was fighting for her life Friday, her three-year-old sister and their pregnant mother badly hurt after they were struck from behind by a car that crashed into a southwestern Ontario Costco.

Sources say the woman, eight months pregnant, was given an emergency Caesarian-section — suggesting she or her unborn baby was in serious distress.

Glass rained down and shoppers were hit when a red Pontiac slammed into the store’s entranceway in reverse, stopping between the double doors at the store busy with hundreds of customers.

Investigators were still trying to determine how the car wound up going backward, getting between two post-like barriers, or bollards, before crashing through the sliding glass doors.

Besides the mother and her daughters, all in critical condition, two other adults and the car driver were taken to hospital.

Shocked customers and staff said the car came through the doors with a thunderous bang.

“I heard the engine rev really loud and then, whoosh, an explosion. It looked like a tidal wave — just glass,” said Tracy Carne.

Carne’s friend, Margaret Smith, described the scene as “like a tornado.”

“You could hear all the glass shattering and the car smashing and people screaming.”

Police had released no names, but sources described the driver as a woman who appeared to be in her late 40s or early 50s.

Police hadn’t ruled out the possibility of charges against the driver, depending on their investigation.

Witnesses described “mayhem,” with injured kids and adults on the store floor surrounded by shattered glass and broken metal. Others nearby were bleeding from being hit by glass shards.

“It was like a war zone,” said one woman, her voice breaking as tears streamed down her face. “It was something you would see on CNN.”

Shoppers and staff raced to the entrance to help, bringing blankets, defibrillators and first aid kits and doing what they could to comfort those hurt before paramedics arrived.

Other customers and store staff helped direct traffic to quickly get emergency workers to the injured.

“I saw the youngest child sitting on the floor. She appeared to have a piece of glass in her mouth. Chris (another employee) took a buggy off her and I just held her,” said employee Tino Casavecchia.

“I just kept saying, “Be brave...”

The other little girl, close to her mother, struggled to breathe.

“There were lots of people talking to her, comforting her and her mom,” said Carne.

In the aftermath, after five ambulances raced away from the scene with patients and police began to interview witnesses, stunned customers and staff stood around the parking lot talking.

Every witness who spoke to QMI Agency broke down in tears or appeared to choke them back. Several noted how close they’d been to the scene, how easily they could have been struck.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” said Betsi Simmons. “It’s not what you’re expecting and all of a sudden you are in the middle of chaos.”

 


Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions


Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »