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Elderly driver launches SUV into 7-Eleven store

by: David F. Ashton Observing how far the Subaru traveled into the store, police commented it was fortunate that no customers were standing in that spot at the time.

The patron of a convenience store scared the daylights out of shoppers and bystanders on Thursday, September 8, when he plowed his SUV into the front of the 7-Eleven convenience store on S.E. 82nd Avenue at Flavel Street, at about 10:15 am.

'He started up his car, and put it to gear, and just stepped on the gas,' recounted eyewitness Roberta Mallory, who said she works nearby and had just come by for a cup of coffee.

'It all happened so fast - the way he hit the gas, if he'd been in reverse I think he would've shot out into 82nd Avenue and maybe hurt somebody,' Mallory exclaimed. 'I'm still startled, and kind of shaking, from watching this happen right in front of me.'

Portland Fire and Rescue Engine 11 firefighter-paramedics helped the driver out of the silver Subaru Forester PZEV, and took him to sit in a waiting ambulance, before stringing caution tape around the scene.

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct officer Mark DeLong explained, 'An elderly person was shopping at this 7-Eleven Store. Witnesses say he came out, got into his car, and then drove into the store.'

The driver told medical personnel he usually has his wife drive him, but he wanted to shop here on his way to a medical appointment.

'It doesn't appear as if the driver was injured,' DeLong said, 'Nor were there any customer injuries inside the store.'

It is not clear if the driver had had a medical issue which caused the incident, or if he had become confused and stepped on the gas instead of the brake. No citations were issued.