Ithaca, N.Y. — A witness to a freak accident on Monday recalled a hectic scene after he saw a woman pinned beneath her vehicle at the Kwik Fill on Ithaca’s Route 13/Elmira Road.


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“They were laying down, with the car about half-way on top of them,” said John, an employee of the tires shop adjacent to the Kwik Fill, in an interview Tuesday morning. (John refused to give his last name.)

John said he saw the top of the woman’s body visible on the grass with the other half pinned beneath the car. He called 911 immediately.

“I was like, ‘What the hell?,’” John said. He said he had never seen an accident similar to this one. “You look over there … and she was on the grass between the curb and the sidewalk.”

John said the woman was trapped just to the right of the telephone poll at the Kwik Fill:

John and another employee said a major emergency response followed: a fire truck; five police cars; and Bangs Ambulance. A woman who works at the Kwick Fill and is an EMT was also out helping the woman trapped under the car, according to the tire shop employees.

The victim would later be taken via ambulance to a hospital around 4:43 p.m. and then flown to a regional trauma center for what police have called serious internal injuries.

Firefighters said Tuesday that the woman was in her 50s. She was in “critical condition” when flown to the trauma center, Lt. Thomas Basher said in a news release on Tuesday.

Police are still investigating the accident. An Ithaca police news release said the female victim had been having trouble with her car and was standing in front of it when it was suddenly able went into gear and began moving forward. The woman was then trapped after being hit by the car, the IPD news release said.

Foul play is not suspected. The woman was flown to a local hospital after a landing zone was set up off of Wood Street in Ithaca for a medical helicopter:

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.