A horrific scene last night at Lima's Town Square when an evening of entertainment turned into chaos when a car crashed into a crowd of people. It happened just after 9p.m. on Friday at Rally in the Square, the weekly summer series hosted by ArtSpace Lima.
Officers say a car parked on Main St. suddenly accelerated, crashing into the crowd at about 20 miles an hour. In all about 25 people were taken to the hospital, some with serious injuries.
Lima police say the female driver is cooperating with police.
Victims and witnesses described the scene Friday night as chaotic.
"It was just chaotic. It just seemed like it happened so quick and the ambulance was right there, it just happened so quick," Diana Kramer, who was hurt in the accident, said.
Kramer says she didn't even know what happened until it was over.
"I was there with my friends and it just felt like you know, you're at a concert and people are shoving, shoving, and she just plowed into us. We didn't know it was coming. She hit me directly with the car, I fell down and it was hard getting back up, and I couldn't stand on my foot, it was just chaotic," she said.
Kramer has a broken ankle and a strained back to go along with scrapes and bruises but says she's lucky to be alive.
Hundreds of people were in town square when the accident happened -- more than 25 ended up in the hospital.
Lima police say a car was parked on Main St. and for some reason the driver suddenly accelerated, jumping the curb and crashing into the crowd, stopping just short of a sculpture.
"There are indications on the concrete that most of the speed was stopped by the vehicle itself. The vehicle may have went or continued on into the sculpture but it didn't appear as that it was at any significant rate of speed so with the roadway evidence it showed she probably slowed down at least five feet prior to hitting the sculpture," Lima Police Detective Steve Stechschulte, said.
Crash experts spent much of Friday night looking at evidence trying to figure out what exactly happened.
"A lot of the evidence is going to have been moved by the time we get here so you have to discount some of the evidence you see because it may not have been caused by the crash, it may have been caused from the movement after the crash so yeah, it's going to definitely be difficult," Det. Stechschulte, said.
Investigators will spend the next few days talking to victims and witnesses like June Blauvelt's daughter Faye Stewart who spent the night in the hospital. The crash knocked Stewart unconscious and left her with a hurt back and knee.
"There was a guy standing behind her and if he wouldn't have been there, she said what she remembered is everything flying in the air. All of a sudden she was going in the air and she landed on the cement," Blauvelt said.
While the police investigation will take some time, victims like Kramer are ready to put the memories from that chaotic night behind them.
"I'm just glad it's over," she said.
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