As she whimpered, Mercedes Ayala said “I'll never forget this in my life. I said thanks God.”
Ayala and her 25-year-old niece Marisela Figueroa were waiting inside Little Caesar's for the pizza they ordered when suddenly white Toyota RAV4 SUV plowed into the store pushing the counter back about 5 feet back and injuring a total of 10 people including the driver. Ayala says a one month old in a stroller was pinned under the vehicle. As she stood there traumatized she tried to let the baby's mom (also inside the store) that her little one seemed okay. But, Ayala, was terrified saying it was "very scary because I see a baby and everybody on the floor inside and the mother for the little girl she had a big cut on the leg.” When she spoke in Spanish she got even more animated and emotional. Ayala's niece was hit by the SUV. The 25 year old Marisela Figueroa received cuts on her back and shoulder. Ayala told me she was hurt too “I hurt my arm and my leg.”
Of the 10 injuries 4 adults were taken to local hospitals including the driver. So were 3 kids. One was one month old. The other two were three and five years of age. Police said the 5-year-old had the most severe injury with trauma to the head.
Police aren't sure what caused the 60-year-old driver to hit the gas pedal instead of the brake while trying to park in front of the store. Two officers close to the investigation told us she complained her vision was blurry and thought that might have something to do with what happened.