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Couple Injured When Car Races Out of Control, Hits House

Elderly couple had been at Pick 'n Save on Blue Mound and were leaving when their car's engine went "full bore" and careened across the parking lot striking two other parked cars and wound up crossing 84th St. before hitting a home.

An elderly couple suffered injuries in a serious accident at about 12:30 p.m. Friday when their car raced out of control across a parking lot and then across four lanes of traffic before jumping the curb and smashing into the corner of a house.

The incident began after the couple left the Pick n' Save store at 8151 Blue Mound Road, in Milwaukee, and ended with the front of the car wrapped around a stone planter box at the front corner of a home in Wauwatosa at the corner of Blue Mound and North 84th Street.

Both the Milwaukee and s responded, and two Tosa paramedic units took the couple to Froedtert Hospital, said Asst. Fire Chief Jim Case.

"We both showed up," Case said. "There was a little confusion about where it was, but we probably would have both come anyway because lives are the first thing we worry about, and we'll sort the other stuff out later."

"It does not appear that the injuries were life-threatening," Case said. At the time, he said, the medical units were still at the hospital. The couple has not been identified. Their car's air bags deployed properly in the crash.

Milwaukee police handled the accident investigation. Case said that in such an incident, it is the jurisdiction where the event began that typically investigates.

Navy veteran James L. Marinkovich, who served in the Vietnam War, was handing out poppies for donations at the Pick n' Save and said that the couple had come out of the store and put some money in his bucket, and he had handed them poppies.

He saw them walking toward a car parked in a handicapped space near the entrance, then turned away. Moments later, he heard an engine roar and tires squeal and turned to see the car racing away.

"The car took off, squealing tires, headed toward those cars, careened off, hit that white car, hit the silver car, drove off between the silver car parked there and the gas station.

"They were going extremely fast, I would estimate 40, 50 miles an hour. Seemed like the car was out of control because when he took off, the tires were squealing and he went just like a rocket.

"My first thought was somebody robbed the store, then I realized who it was."

At Heffe's Service and BP gas station, 8235 Blue Mound Road, owner Scott Heppe saw the other end of the accident.

"We heard a couple of crashes down in the parking lot, and I snuck around the corner to see what was going on, all I heard was a car coming full bore up the alleyway, shot straight across, jumped the median, crossed into the neighbor's yard and wound up in the flower bed, just missing the house.

"There was nothing stopping that car, it was full tilt all the way. I've never had a car in the shop here that I ever had RPMing that high.

"He traveled a long ways. We're very fortunate, there's enough schools around here, there were no kids out at the time. Traffic, there wasn't a car coming either direction on Glenview, missed all that.

"How he missed everything, that's a blessing."

Marinkovich said that not a half hour before the accident, a long line of schoolkids had been walking along the sidewalk.

"Boy, if those kids had been there then, that'd have been awful," he said.

JustMe May 19, 2012 at 02:50 AM
A good argument why some elderly should not drive.
Googs May 21, 2012 at 05:12 PM
My wife and I were traveling North on 84th and hit the brakes just as this car came barreling out of the gas station. It was going so fast it went airborne when it hit the median. That planter box saved the house from a much worse fate. The battery pictured above was about 40 ft from the car sitting in the front lawn. A road sign was sheered off from the impact. I pulled our car over and was the first responder to the scene. The driver was dazed and a little banged up but the passenger was very aware considering what had happened.
Deb Strzelecki May 21, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Time to take the keys away. Hopefully, friends, neighbors, kids, and grandkids will be able to help out.

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