Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News
An elderly woman slammed into Jimmy's Food Store after accidentally hitting the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal.
A driver crashed her car through the front doors of a popular east Dallas grocery store and deli Wednesday afternoon.
Officials said the elderly driver hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal and ended up parking her car inside Jimmy's Food Store on Bryan Street at about 3:30 p.m.
“It sounded like a big, big crash,” store owner Paul DiCarlo said.
“It was like a bomb," store manager Jeff White said. "You could feel the impact."
The woman mowed over a patio table and chairs before crashing into the checkout.
“When I came up here, I thought there was definitely going to be someone under those tires,” DiCarlo said.
White said he ran to the front of the store and found one of his customers on the ground but not seriously injured.
He said he shifted attention the person behind the wheel, a 93-year-old woman he recognized as a regular customer. White said she threw the car into reverse and shot across the parking lot while he was trying to pry open the car door to get to her.
Worried for her safety and others, White ran after her.
“The car was still going, so I reached in the car, put it in park, and pulled out the key,” he said. “She was just shaking and just as nervous as can be.”
The driver had minor injuries.
The damage to the grocery store was more significant. A crew spent the night putting plywood up over the front of the store. While there is still work to be done, the employees are counting their blessing.
“Usually, people are sitting in these tables,” White said. “Thank God nobody was sitting here today.”
DiCarlo said he expects to return to business as usual on Thursday.
It is the second time in Jimmy’s 45-year history that someone has driven into the store.
Jimmy's Food Store was destroyed by a fire in October 2004. The owners rebuilt and reopened it a little more than a year later.