5-year-old among 8 injured after elderly driver accelerates into California Trader Joe’s

An elderly driver accidentally barreled into a crowded California Trader Joe’s on Thursday, injuring eight people inside — including a 5-year-old child, officials said.

The 88-year-old driver was trying to park a Toyota Avalon in a handicapped spot in front of the Castro Valley Trader Joe’s around 4 p.m. when he accidentally accelerated through the glass-door entrance and came to a stop 30 feet into the store, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.

Along the way, the car hit shoppers and sent items flying off the shelves, reports said. Four people were hospitalized, including a worker at the store, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson told KTVU-TV.

Some of the injuries were from debris and “projectiles” sent shooting from the shelves during the harrowing incident.

The Alameda County Fire Department posted photos on Twitter of the gray vehicle near a checkout counter, with its front end badly damaged and packages of food strewn along the floor.

The Alameda County Fire Department investigates the aftermath of the crash at a Castro Valley Trader Joe’s on Sept. 15, 2022.
Facebook/Alameda County Fire Dep
Castro Valley car crash
An elderly driver accidentally accelerated into the store, stopping 30 feet inside.
Facebook/Alameda County Fire Dep
Car inside Trader Joe's
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office shared photos of the accident.

Trader Joe's
The incident occurred at a Castro Valley store.

The elderly driver reportedly hit the wrong pedal, accelerating through the glass window.

Witness Lani Borges told KTVU she saw something “coming into the store” and narrowly escaped getting rammed.

“I moved backwards and at that point, some guy grabbed me very strongly and pulled me back, so I was out of danger,” Borges said. “Had I not moved fast enough, I might have been hit by the car.”

The unidentified driver hasn’t been charged and police are probing whether a mechanical fault contributed to the crash, the station said.

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