PHOTOS: Rear-end Hit by Tractor Trailer throws Car uphill into the side of the Route 4 Deli in Quechee
Shaken driver walks away from mishap unharmed
QUECHEE - A New York driver who had slowed and turned his wheels in anticipation of crossing the opposite lane of traffic and driving into the parking lot of the Route 4 Deli in Quechee on Friday afternoon was rear-ended by the cab unit of a tractor-trailer that had been traveling behind him and ended up crashing into the building moments later.
The impact, which took place right in front of the entrance to the KOA Campground, caused the Toyota Corolla to race uphill into the corner of the deli, crushing a picnic table and umbrella that had been set up outdoors for customers of the local luncheon spot.
"The skid marks go way out," noted Hartford Police Sgt. Jason Pedro. "The truck driver couldn't stop in time and so (the car) got hit from behind and launched up in here."
The sergeant said that "pedal confusion" in the moments after the impact may have played a roll in the car's unexpected trajectory uphill through the parking lot clear to the building.
"He had his wheels turned already to come in when he got hit," Pedro said, "It sounds like maybe when he got hit his foot slipped off the brake and onto the accelerator because the wheels were still dug in and chewing it up," when the car hit the structure, putting a visible crack in the wall.
Scott Montgomery, the driver of the Corolla, was enroute from New York to Norwich to attend his nephew's wedding this weekend. "I was waiting to turn and all of the sudden I heard a big crash," a shaken Montgomery recalled.
"I was disoriented for a second. I opened my eyes and I was heading toward the building. I took my foot off the accelerator and the accelerator was still going so I put my foot on the brake but there were no brakes," Montgomery continued, disagreeing with the police assessment that he might have actually depressed the gas instead of the brake in the heat of the moment.
"(The police officer) says that's impossible but we'll see," Montgomery said, shaking his head. "I was just in a shock because I had just been hit so you know, of course it's going to be a little foggy, but my recollection is that it was going forward toward to the building and I was going 'This thing's not stopping!' and I jammed on the brakes and there's no brake and I go 'Now what am I going to do, hit the building?' and then I hit the building."
After sitting stunned for a moment in the car and realizing he had not been hurt, Montgomery said, "Finally I got out the passenger door because there was steam and stuff coming out from under the hood."
Hartford Police Sgt. Jay Pedro (right) discusses the dynamics of the crash with DMV Inspector Robert Giolito
Skid marks from the crash on Route 4 show where the impact took place
Marjorie Battaglia, the owner of the deli was standing at her computer when the car hit, recalling that "It sounded like an explosion."
"That ice cream machine, my pride and joy, got plowed right off the wall," and thrown several feet, Battaglia said, adding, "It's a good thing I wasn't making ice cream at the time."
Watching Montgomery walk around the scene as police and firefighters worked to shore up the situation, Battaglia said, "I can't imagine he didn't break an arm or something. Gosh, how lucky is that?"
The ice cream machine (right) was thrown forward into the deli and a large crack appeared in the wall
Hartford Police Officer Simon Keeling gives a thumbs-up as he backs the car away from the wall
The crushed remnants of the picnic table where fortunately no one was sitting when the car came flying in
Scott Montgomery (center) looks over his damaged car after it was pulled back from the building
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