VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A woman and two small children were hit by a car in a parking lot at the Safeway on 63rd Street and Andresen in Vancouver Saturday morning.
According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, an 18-year-old employee of the store was attempting to park when his car “for unknown reasons accelerated.” He went through a hedge and onto the sidewalk, hitting the pedestrians.
“Some folks who witnessed the crash helped retrieve the children,” Sgt. Fred Neiman said. “Of course it was chaos, and they had to use a jack to jack up the vehicle and get it off the ground, so they could safely extract the children.”
Melissa McAllister, 34, of Vancouver is in serious condition at a Portland hospital, officials said. Her 2 boys also remain in the hospital. Four-year-old AJ is in serious condition while the younger son Christopher is said to be in fair condition.
Guy McAllister, father of the 2 boys and husband to Melissa, told KOIN 6 News he’s praying for a miracle.
“My wife is going to be going into surgery on Tuesday. She has a broken pelvis, 2 broken ribs, a cut wrist and according to doctors, a tire track over her stomach,” Guy said.
The oldest son AJ is under sedation. He received fractures to his face and skull and is bleeding in his brain.
Guy said, “They are not able to do anything with the blood clot right now because Aspirin could make the brain bleed again, so they have to wait. We are in that 72-hour standby to see what happens.”
Christopher was not impacted as much as his mom and brother, but did receive a concussion and scratches to his face. However, he’s having a hard time with the situation because he misses his brother, according to Guy.
“Little Christopher is having a really hard time because they are so bonded together…I pray everything works out,” Guy said.
Tabitha Howell, who works nearby saw the police in the parking lot when she arrived for her day. She also saw the crumpled stroller that was hit.
“There was caution tape everywhere,” Howell said. “It completely looked smashed.”
She said it concerns her as a driver and a pedestrian.
“That could happen to anybody,” Howell said. “I mean, I could not be paying attention and hit somebody…things happen. It’s kind of scary.”
The driver is cooperating with investigators who said there are no indications that he was impaired.
“It’s just one of those real unfortunate situations that we hope we don’t see, but unfortunately it happens every once in a while. We just hope that they all recover,” Neiman said.
Guy also told KOIN 6 News he feels for the 18-year-old driver as well.
“I feel for him, how can you not?” Guy said. “He’s 18 years old, he just ran over a family, 2 kids and my wife. He must be devastated. I have no ill will for him, how can I?”
A spokesperson for Safeway release the following statement about the incident:
Earlier today, a tragic accident occurred. Three pedestrians were struck in our parking lot by a car. They were immediately taken to local hospitals to be treated. Safeway is extremely concerned about everyone involved in this terrible situation. Our thoughts are with them during this time. We are fully cooperating with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation.”