VANCOUVER, Wash. – A woman and two children, ages 3 and 1, walking in a Vancouver Safeway parking lot Saturday morning suffered serious injuries after they were hit by a car.
The collision occurred at around 9 a.m. at the Safeway located at 6711 NE 63rd St.
The driver, 18-year-old Babucarr Touray of Vancouver, an employee at the store, was pulling into a parking spot, just showing up for his shift. For unknown reasons, he accelerated and plowed through a hedge, according to Sgt. Fred Neiman with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
The car struck the woman, 34-year-old Melissa A. McAllister, and her two children, 3-year-old A.J.and 21-month-old Christopher.
All three were taken to Emanuel Hospital in Portland.
Guy McAllister, the husband and father of the victims, told KGW on Sunday that A.J. has a fractured skull and fractured face, and is suffering brain damage. Christopher had a concussion and abrasions to his face.
Christopher was released from the hospital to stay with his grandfather, said his aunt Sam Kaiser.
Guy McAllister said his wife's pelvis was broken and that she has broken ribs and a tire track on her stomach. She had pelvis surgery on Tuesday. Kaiser said the operation went well.
Kaiser said the crash was "an absolute fluke."
"I don't know how to deal with it all but I'm trying to stay strong for my brother and family members but I break down," said Kaiser. "I probably cried more in the last three days than I have in my entire life but at the end of the day we're bonding together as a family."
Kaiser started a YouCaring page to raise money for the family's medical expenses.
Kris Shockelt, 22, was a witness of the crash. He was able to help free the child, who was pinned under the car.
"I hear this plastic dragging sound behind me," he said. "I ran to the car and got my jack and we lifted it up. Thank God there was other people there to comfort the kid. The kid was probably under the car for three minutes total."
Shockelt said he didn't see how the crash happened. He said the driver was distraught at what happened and was crying hysterically. The driver, who is an employee at the store, is cooperating with investigators.
Clark County deputies said he was not impaired and has not been charged.
Safeway released a statement saying they were saddened by the crash:
"Earlier today, a tragic accident occurred. Three pedestrians were struck in our parking lot by a car. They were immediately taken to a local hospital 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."
The case remains under investigation by the Clark County Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit.