Close Call: Car smashes into Olney store

March 27, 2009 8:47:19 PM PDT
Five people, including a baby, were taken to the hospital after a vehicle went into a building Friday afternoon in the Olney section of Philadelphia. WEB EXTRA: Cricket store crash surveillance

RELATED:View a slideshow of images from the crash scene.

The crash happened just before 3:00 p.m. Friday at 5th Street and Olney Avenue.

The driver of the Subaru Outback, Herbert Byrd, says he was trying to back into a parking space in front of the store when something went wrong, and his car smashed into a Cricket cell phone store.

"I stepped down on the gas and the pedal got stuck," Byrd said. "When you're in reverse, things happen so quickly, you have a problem reacting."

Byrd was wearing a boot cast at the time, but says that had nothing to do with the crash.

The people inside the store were shocked by what happened.

"All of a sudden, something is backing up. It's in slow motion almost. But, it hits the display window and everything goes back. Everyone gets pushed back... Me, the lady with the baby," said store employee Darryl Mosley. "Everybody just starts screaming, there's glass going everywhere."

"He said he meant to be in drive, and it went into reverse. Anything's possible," Mosley continued. "All I know is, once he got into the store, he was more concerned about the car than he was about everybody else inside."

Despite the destruction, everyone involved survived with non-life threatening injuries.

A 47-year-old woman and a ten month old baby were taken to Einstein Hospital for their injuries.

"Her first reaction was to save the baby which was a great thing," store employee Yong Shin said about the mother who instinctively grabbed the stroller with her 10 month old in it and pulled the child to safety as shattered glass flew through the air.

Three others were transported to other area hospitals.

However, it was Byrd's lack of reaction right after the crash that upset employees like Cyrina Cupit, who was injured when the display cases and counters were driven back in the store from the force of his out-of-control car.

"He didn't ask was anybody okay or nothing; he got out and wiped his car out and tried to drive away. They told him to stay there," Cupit said.

Byrd was not given a ticket by police, and was able to get into his crumpled car and drive away after the accident.

L&I was called to the scene. The building was inspected, and deemed structurally sound.

The manager says it will take about a week to clean up this mess and make repairs. He says he'll reopen as soon as he possibly can.

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