A 90-year-old man was behind the wheel of an SUV that barreled down Englewood’s main commercial drag at noontime Monday -- just missing several pedestrians, knocking over a parking meter, a planter and a public trash can -- before finally slamming into a utility pole.
Two city employees helped free the driver, who was bleeding from the head. They laid him on the sidewalk and kept him calm until emergency responders arrived, police said.
The 2016 Kia apparently was parked in an East Palisade Avenue stall before the driver hit the gas, sending it onto the north sidewalk, Deputy Police Chief Gregory Halstead said.
It continued down the street, breaking a storefront window and toppling a parking meter, planter, trash can and a store sign, before plowing into the light pole just before the railroad tracks, he said.
"It was terrifying," witness Karen Calman Petrillo said. "He barreled down that sidewalk at a rate of speed that was incredible. Had anyone been out on that sidewalk they would have been killed.
"He slammed into that pole with such speed. I never saw anything like that. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing."
“City employees Venton Miles and Cesar Naranjo helped pedestrians free the driver from the vehicle and kept him calm until the arrival of fire and police personnel,” said Halstead, the deputy chief.
The driver was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center after EMS treated him for the cut on his head, Halstead said.
An investigation was continuing.
PHOTOS ABOVE: Karen Calman Petrillo for DAILY VOICE / Below: DAILY VOICE photo
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