An out-of-control Corvette with nobody behind the wheel crashed onto a midtown sidewalk Thursday afternoon and pinned a woman underneath after its automatic starter malfunctioned. According to the Post, the car had been pulled up to the lip of a parking garage on East 56th Street near Madison Avenue when the owner hit the automatic-start button on his key ring. But, according to the paper, instead of just starting and idling, the car jumped forward, across traffic, and hit a woman across the street. Good Samaritans who’d been in line at a nearby Chop’t rolled the car off of her.
Photos from the scene show that the car jumped the curb but was stopped just short of crashing into the salad shop:
The incident occurred around 1 p.m., just a block from the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue. The driver speculated to the Post that the garage’s attendants were to blame for the incident. From the paper:
“Maybe [the parking attendants] didn’t put the emergency brakes on,” he speculated. “[The attendants] had it on auto control.”
An attendant who identified himself as Roberto said he retrieved the car at the man’s request and engaged the parking brake while waiting for the owner to come.
Roberto said he handed off the keys to the man who then went to pay the cashier. That’s when the car began moving.
“The driver went to pay. He squeezed the button – click, click – and the car started rolling,” Roberto said. “The driver said, ‘oh sh–t’ and ran after the car.”
The attendant told the paper that after the car hit the woman, the owner jumped inside and stopped it. Paramedics treated the woman at the scene, but fire officials tell the Daily News that she didn’t require hospitalization.
Cam McInnis, an eyewitness, told the News, “The car just came flying out of nowhere with no driver. It just smacked her … A whole bunch of people came to her rescue.” One of the people who helped the pinned woman, Todd Bassen, told the paper that “It was headed straight toward us,” and said he thought it was going to crash into Chop’t. He added: “She was pinned underneath. I’m shaking. This could have been so much worse.”