A Gray Summit man was uninjured after driving his car over two sidewalks, a median and a fence in the Mercy Hospital parking lot Thursday afternoon.
Edward Sadler, 76, Gray Summit, told police he confused the gas pedal and the brake while trying to park his 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier in the north parking lot at the hospital. The car drove forward, jumped a sidewalk, drove over a median, and then drove onto another sidewalk before striking a fence and stopping dangling over a small retaining wall.
“The driver couldn’t explain what happened, other than he mistook the brake pedal for the gas pedal,” Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes said.
The fencing struck another vehicle, a 2013 Ford Edge owned by Joseph Davis, St. Clair. Sitzes said that vehicle had minimal damage.
Sitzes said Sadler was going to Mercy Hospital for a medical procedure. Sadler refused treatment from paramedics, but did go to the hospital to get his scheduled procedure.
After crashing through the fence the car was stuck hanging over the retaining wall of the parking lot below. The way the car was positioned with the right front wheel on the sidewalk, the driver’s side door was pinned against the retaining wall trapping the driver inside.
Washington Fire Chief Bill Halmich said the driver was conscious the entire time so that made the rescue operation easier.
“We had voice communication with him the entire time, so we could monitor his condition,” Halmich said.
To get the driver out of the car, fire department crews first had to stabilize the car. Using wood blocks, crews propped up the car and ensure its stability.
With the car stable, crews discussed pulling the man out from the elevated passenger side door. That, however, wasn’t the final plan.
The car was forced up enough to allow the driver’s door to open up and the man was able to walk out from the car under his own power.
“We stabilized the vehicle, cut away the fence and he was able to get away under his own power,” Halmich said.
Crews created just enough room to open the door. Once the man was out, the door wouldn’t close.
With the driver freed, a wrecker came and towed the car down from the sidewalk.