Two injured when car jumps curb

July 17, 2008 3:56:06 PM PDT
A car jumped a curb in Yonkers Thursday, striking several pedestrians.The incident happened in the heart of Yonkers, on Broadway.

Witnesses say the car jumped the curb and plowed into a crowded sidewalk outside a building.

Police say the driver was attempting to parallel park and had the car in reverse when she stepped on the accelerator by mistake.

At least two people were hurt. One of the injured, a woman, was pinned beneath the car. Witnesses ran over to the car and lifted the vehicle off her.

"Just trying to help this poor lady out that was underneath the car," witness Vincent Burns said. "We just wanted to get her from under the car. We lifted the car up in the air. That's gotta be a 4,000-pound vehicle."

The building houses a bank, social security offices and unemployment.

According to police, the injured are husband and wife. The driver of the car, an elderly woman, was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

The injured male was identified as Thomas Rooney, and he spoke to Eyewitness News reporter NJ Burkett from his hospital bed. He says bystanders might have saved his wife's life.

Rooney said that he and his wife were waiting outside an optometrist's office when the car came hurtling across the sidewalk in reverse. He was thrown through the foyer of the bank, and his wife, Catherine Rooney, was pinned beneath the car.

"It happened in the blink of an eye," he said. "And then, out of nowhere, everybody came running. Just arms and hands and muscle."

Pulling together, he said, they literally lifted the car and pulled his wife to safety before firefighters arrived.

"Thank goodness," he said. "She was pinned beneath the back left tire. It's just great to see everybody, everybody no matter who you are, they all pulled right in there. There are good people out there."

Rooney is 63 years old and a retired New York City police officer. He worked in the 49th and 44th precincts. He suffered a torn right calf muscle.

Catherine Rooney, he said, suffered a fractured pelvis and possible internal injuries. She is being treated at Jacobi Hospital in The Bronx.

The driver was not seriously hurt. She has not been identified, but Rooney said she is an elderly woman who was "horrified" by her mistake.

It is not clear when or if she will be charged in the case.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett
WEB PRODUCED BY: Scott Curkin and Bill King