Two car accidents in which authorities said older drivers accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake killed one person and injured several others over the weekend in San Jose, police said.
The first incident occurred around 12:30 p.m. Sunday when a 69-year-old man drove a Toyota 4Runner into a group of people dining outside the Grand Century Plaza on the 1100 block of Story Road.
Nine adults were injured in the accident, including the driver, the police said. Two people were listed in critical condition on Monday morning. Initial reports showed the driver was in medical emergency at the time of the accident, but San Jose Police Officer Christian Camarillo said Monday it was not clear.
Witnesses said guests started screaming and helping the injured after the accident in which the SUV plowed into the outdoor dining area of a restaurant set up in the parking lot to meet coronavirus restrictions.
“The noise if [the 4Runner] The runaway was like a huge crunch because all the tables and everything underneath were trapped, “John Brown, who was occupying a nearby political booth and saw the crash, told Mercury News. “It was so quick that a lot of people didn’t react at first. I saw her go to the ambulance. Everyone was very shocked. “
Buck Suggs, 54, of San Jose, who also worked on the booth, said he saw the vehicle parked in the parking lot just across from the outdoor dining area. Suggs said he heard the engine speed and tires screech, then saw the vehicle, smoke coming out of the tires as it drove over a two-lane road and a mode of transport before crashing into the dining area.
You could hear people shouting, “Get out of the way,” before there was a loud crack, he said.
About a mile away, at around 6 p.m. on the same route, there was an “eerily similar” crash, Camarillo said.
An elderly woman pressed the accelerator instead of the brake on her Ford F-150 pickup truck, hit a pedestrian and crashed into a food truck and outdoor dining area on the 1000 block of Story Road, police said.
The pedestrian, identified as a grown man by San Jose police, died early Monday of his injuries.
The crashes have nothing to do with each other, said Camarillo and is being investigated.
The second of the two accidents was the 38th fatal traffic accident that year, San Jose police said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.