An elderly driver attempted to park his pickup outside of Price Co Foods in East Sonora Sunday morning when his foot slipped from the brake pedal onto the accelerator, and the car barrelled through a display of watermelons and into a pedestrian.
The pedestrian sustained major injuries after his lower extremities were pinned between the car and the concrete cinder block wall of the grocery store, said Sgt. Michael Brush of the Sonora-area California Highway Patrol.
About 11:50 a.m., Derek Sonnenfelt, 33, of Sonora, was walking in front of the store while Richard Williams, 90, attempted to park his 2000 Chevrolet pickup in a parking spot in front of the store.
There were not many eyewitnesses, Brush said. One of the checkers in Price Co Foods saw the victim walking outside toward the south side of the store and when the vehicle accelerated toward him, but she did not see the impact, he said.
The vehicle accelerated and first made impact with a watermelon display, which was made up of a large cardboard box set on top of a pallet, Brush said.
The man, walking behind the display, was crushed by the front bumper of the car and the “few inches” of cardboard that were depressed by the initial impact, Brush said.
Sonnenfelt was transported to Doctor’s Medical Center in Modesto for treatment of major injuries
Williams was uninjured in the accident.
An investigating officer determined that Williams was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Brush said.