HAZEL DELL, WA (KPTV) – One person suffered minor injuries after firefighters say a driver mistook their gas pedal for their brake and smashed through a pizza shop in Hazel Dell Tuesday afternoon.

Clark County Fire District 6 responded to Bortolami’s Pizza on Northeast 7th Avenue just before 3 p.m. 

Clark county deputies say the driver was fine, but one customer was trapped between the car and her table and had to be rescued by firefighters.

“She was talking, so she seemed okay, but her pant leg was cut open, so I’m guessing something happened to her leg," a customer said.

Investigators say that woman will be okay and told FOX 12, had the restaurant been full, the outcome would’ve been tragic.

"We can take care of bricks and mortar and fix doors and windows the most important thing is about safety in the restaurant and everybody involved," Owner of Bortolami’s Pizza Mike Stromme said.

Crews were able to get the late model Toyota Camry into neutral and roll it back, freeing the woman, who was then transported to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center.

Firefighters say the 79-year-old driver, who is the building's owner, accidentally hit the gas pedal while trying to park in front of the restaurant and smashed through it's plate glass window. She was not hurt.

"It was really fast, she just crashed right into it and the whole window just shattered and it sounded like special effects, it was like the craziest noise I ever heard," a customer said.

Electrical power to the building was temporarily disabled and later restored.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the crash.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(1) comment


Was it driver error or the way we taught them to brake? In order to get our driver’s license we are forced to brake an electric or automatic vehicle using the right foot braking method. Those in charge of driver legislation and training at the state and federal level have known about the dangerous flaws of this method for years. NHTSA, GHSA and TRB produced reports DOT HS 811 597, 812 058 and 812 431 (spaces required). These reports showed that right foot pedal errors (pedal misapplication) occurs 40,000 times per day by drivers of ALL ages and gender but especially for women drivers, which they blamed for most of the crashes. Despite this being a national epidemic, no more research has been done. One would have expected that instead of just continuing to blame female drivers they might have asked themselves two basic questions:
1. Is it possible to develop a braking method that would be more suitable for female drivers (and male drivers if they would admit it), which would prevent these crashes?
2. Do we actually have any scientific justification for teaching the right foot braking method?
The answer to point one is YES and the answer to point 2 is NO!
Turns out there is no scientific justification for teaching the right foot braking method which is too complicated and difficult to mentally retain with age, inefficient (poor reaction and stopping distances) and even more dangerous (susceptible to pedal misapplication) compared to the simpler, more efficient and safer left foot braking method. Deaths to date, 150,000 (19 every day!) pedestrians (in and out of buildings) and cyclists. This is not about which braking method is safer but why they refuse to scientifically compare the two methods. Apparently ME TOO is not the only victim of a male systemic belief! ‘That’s the way it’s always been taught is not a scientific justification’!

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