Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016
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Police & Fire

Car plows into square in Lima; 25 injured

Car-plows-into-square-in-Lima-25-injured

Emergency personnel surround the car that a 63-year-old woman drove into Lima's town square during a music event. Police withheld her identity Saturday night.

Lima News/Craig J. Orosz Enlarge

LIMA, Ohio -- Police Saturday withheld the name of a 63-year-old woman who drove her car into a crowd, injuring at least 25 people, in Lima's Town Square Friday night.

The car had been parked about 25 feet away from the crowd at Artspace Lima's Rally in the Square when it began to accelerate into the downtown rally about 9:25 p.m., police said.

Several people suffered serious injuries, and at least two were admitted to St. Rita's Medical Center.

Other injured bystanders were treated at Lima Memorial Health System.

After the car struck a statue and stopped, bystanders lifted the vehicle to free some of the people pinned beneath it, authorities and witnesses said.

No one was killed, but some victims had serious injuries to their heads, necks, and legs, police said.

The chaotic scene unfolded after more than 1,000 people had gathered for a weekly community event featuring live music, police said.

"We were packed," said Andrea Scheckelhoss, who was working in a beer truck at the event. "This was probably one of our busiest nights."

She said people were trying to get their last rounds of beer for the night when she saw a small two-door vehicle come from her right and plow through the crowd. About 50 people were in and around the car's path.

"I could hear the people hitting against the car," Ms. Scheckelhoss, 25, said. "There were shoes flying. I could see people tumbled over. It was just so disturbing."

Ms. Scheckelhoss, one of the first people to call 911, said the woman had a white dog in the back seat.

"I remember looking at the woman's face," she said. "She looked disoriented."

Todd Truesdale, fire chief for Shawnee Township, was at the event with his wife and some friends. He said he had his back turned to the accident when he heard a scream and turned around.

"I saw two people go up in the air, and I knew it was a car," he said. "I couldn't see it, but I heard the revving of the engine."

Detective Steve Stechschulte of the Lima police said the woman drove the car about 50 feet at about 20 mph.

He said the woman, who lives in the area, was not injured and has been released pending further investigation.

Lima is about 80 miles south of Toledo.

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