Driver who hit 2 women in West Philadelphia blames mechanical issue with SUV

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police say two women are in the hospital after an SUV barreled through a crowd in West Philadelphia.

It happened before 5:30 p.m. Saturday at 52nd and Spruce streets.

Police say the driver, 87-year-old Virginia Jackson, hit two women.

Jackson told Action News she was not at fault. She said she put the vehicle in park but something went wrong.

She believes the crash was the result of a mechanical issue.

"I think I got it, I'm ready to get out," Jackson said. "It never went into park."

Jackson was in the car with her daughter.

"It took me and her turning the wheel to get it in parking," she said.

A mangled front bumper only told half the story of the dramatic scene. Next to her banged up SUV was a mess of jewelry and buckets that were sent flying.

Police say Jackson plowed through the intersection where the items were being sold by two women. Both of those women were struck.

One victim, a 51-year-old, was pinned under the car and suffered cuts and bruises.

The second victim, a 29-year-old, suffered cuts and bruises and a contusion to the head.

Both victims were taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center for treatment and listed in stable condition.

The crash happened two blocks away from where Saturday's Juneteenth celebration was happening, but organizers say their event had ended hours before the crash.
Witnesses were shaken up by what they saw.

"We thought it was a terrorist attack, literally the way it looked," said Atiba Kwesi.

Kwesi rushed to help the woman trapped under the SUV.

"Guys lifted the car up one time, but we found out she was still stuck, so they lifted up a second time and we pulled her out," he added.

Others, like Traci Reid say they heard the collision before seeing it.

"We heard the metal crashing," she said. "You could see her airbags had deployed. She was in distress. And they said somebody is underneath the car and the people responded," Reid described.

Jackson remains in disbelief by it all.

"I couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe I was crashing and tearing up stuff," she said. "I never had an accident."
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