Three injured as car slams into church - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Three injured as car slams into church

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Posted: Monday, June 9, 2003 9:47 am | Updated: 1:41 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A car accidentally slammed into the front lobby windows of a Tempe church Sunday, trapping a woman under the vehicle and injuring two other people, police and fire officials said.

Colette Ballesteros, 33, of Mesa said her 5-year-old son barely escaped the car as it sped at 1:30 p.m. toward Calvary Chapel of Tri City, 2334 E. Southern Ave.

"He was in front of the car," she said. "He took off running. He got knocked down, but he took off running again."

Ballesteros’ brother, Anthony Bachelier, 35, of Mesa, said he and others lifted the car to free the trapped woman.

The woman, believed to be in her 60s, was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital with minor injuries. A 9-year-old boy was taken to Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, also with minor injuries. A third person declined medical treatment, Tempe police Sgt. M.R. Russell said.

The late-model Mercury Grand Marquis lurched toward the church as people milled around outside. Police consider it an accident. The driver’s name was not available.

"We don’t know if it’s mechanical failure or driver error," Russell said.

Bachelier said the driver appeared to be parking, then accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake pedal.

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