Wednesday, May 22, 2013
SACO — Customers who were shopping for groceries at a crowded supermarket in Saco this evening got a bit of a shock when a car driven by an elderly Biddeford man smashed through a set of entryway doors.
This 2003 Ford Focus had to be extricated by a tow truck this evening after the driver smashed through the doors of the Saco Shaw's, police said.
Sgt. Christopher Hardiman said the mishap occurred about 4:45 p.m. at the Shaw’s Supermarket, which is part of the Saco Valley Shopping Center on Scammon Street.
Hardiman identified the driver as 77-year-old Philip Bender of Biddeford.
Bender’s 2003 Ford Focus went through a pair of entryway doors before coming to rest against an interior retaining wall. The affected area is a small vestibule set apart from the customer checkout lines. Customers use the doorway to exit and enter Shaw’s.
“We were very lucky today,” Hardiman said, referring to the fact that no one, including Bender, got injured.
According to police, Bender had just finished shopping and had loaded his car with groceries when he started to pull out of a handicapped parking spot.
His car accelerated forward, striking a parked car. Hardiman said Bender then veered across the parking lot before making a sharp right turn.
“He went straight through the doors,” Hardiman said.
Bender was evaluated at the scene by an ambulance crew before a friend picked him up and drove him home. His car had to be extricated from the entryway by a tow truck.
Bender has not been charged, but the incident remains under investigation.
Hardiman said the store was filled with shoppers at the time.