Traffic safety Wrong pedal leads to four-vehicle crash on Oak

By CHRISTIAN KNIGHT

News staff writer

April 12, 2006

Bonnie Fitzgerald’s right foot landed less than eight inches from where she had intended it – on the gas pedal rather than the brake.

And that Monday afternoon mistake accelerated the 57-year-old down the steep downtown street of 6th Street and through the stop sign at Oak into traffic.

“It appears she hit the gas rather than the brake,” said Hood River Police Sergeant Dave Thompson.

Her Lexus hit three other vehicles, one of them A.J. Kitt’s full-size van.

“I saw her blow through the stop sign,” he said. “I saw her catch air and then I saw her hit the van and then hit me. Everything was coming at me.”

Emergency workers from Hood River Fire Department transported Fitzgerald by stretcher into an awaiting ambulance.

Medical personnel at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital treated and released her Monday.

The driver of another van that Fitzgerald hit complained of neck and back pain.

Thompson said the intersection was one of the more dangerous in downtown Hood River, due to the challenge of seeing cross-traffic before entering the intersection.

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