Police consider charges against Ohio woman who drove into crowd

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PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio police consider pressing charges against a 74-year-old woman who hit the gas instead of her brakes and crashed into a crowd at an outdoor community concert, injuring herself and eight other people.

The woman drove onto a small, packed dance floor Sunday night in Parma Heights, about 10 miles south of Cleveland, Det. Sgt. Steve Scharschmidt says.

The incident happened in a parking lot right next to the city’s police and fire departments.

“We had an officer inside who had heard all the people screaming, and he went out the front door,” says Scharschmidt.

The unidentified Parma Heights woman was leaving the concert when she confused the brake with the gas pedal as she was pulling out of a parking space, police say. She plowed into eight people on the dance floor, and then crashed into a telephone pole and a vehicle as she tried to correct herself, officials say.

Six people were taken to area hospitals, two of them with serious injuries. Three others, including the driver, were treated at the scene for minor injuries. Police say they believed the victims are all in their 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.

There were more than 100 people at the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin summer band tribute concert, the last of a series of outdoor community concerts this summer.

“A lot of the people knew the victims so it (the concert) ended abruptly,” says Scharschmidt.

Police call it an accident, and say the driver was shaken up.

Charges have not been filed. The investigation is ongoing.

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