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Five cars damaged in crash

Five cars were damaged in the PayLess Shopping Center parking lot in Freeland on Monday afternoon when a driver unintentionally hit his gas pedal instead of his brake, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Dave Martin said the chain of events began after a 93-year-old Freeland man dropped off his wife at the door of the grocery store shortly before 2 p.m., then angled to the side to park and wait for her.

Martin gave this account of what happened next:

The driver of the 1989 Mercedes hit the gas pedal by mistake, plowing into an empty shopping cart rack.

A portion of the rack careened across the parking lot access roadway and slammed into three empty parked vehicles in the middle section of the lot.

The remaining section of the rack clung to the front of the Mercedes “like the blade of a plow” as the vehicle careened across the middle two rows of parked vehicles, narrowly missing two, and slammed into the rock retaining wall on the outer edge of the parking lot.

The impact was severe enough to deploy the Mercedes’ airbags.

Finally, an unoccupied parked 1999 Lexus was struck and damaged before the incident ended.

“That’s pretty much it in a nutshell,” Martin said.

Although the parking lot was crowded with vehicles at the time, no injuries were reported, Martin said.

The other three damaged vehicles were a 1998 Plymouth minivan, a 2008 Hyundai Accent and a 2003 Honda. Both the Mercedes and the Lexus required tow trucks.

Martin said that since the incident occurred on private property and didn’t involve criminal activity or injuries, no citations were issued.

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