The Trader Joe’s on Calle Real was the scene of an accident Saturday morning that has come close to costing a man his leg. An elderly driver ran his Prius through the door area of the Goleta store at 9:48 a.m., striking and injuring about three people near the checkout area, one of them seriously. The driver and two customers were treated at the scene, reported Captain Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara Fire Department. The man with major injuries was taken to Cottage Hospital, his neighbors said, where doctors have so far been able to restore circulation to his lower leg.
The store was closed for several hours until Building and Safety could inspect the structure. The Sheriff’s Office also had officers on scene to investigate the accident.
[UPDATE: Oct. 9, 8:45 a.m.] The identities of the individuals involved are not being released, the Sheriff’s Office stated in a press release, but the badly injured man is in his late 30s, and the driver is 85. The other two customers are described as “juveniles” who were treated for minor abrasions.
The accident occurred when the driver was attempting to park his car in front of Trader Joe’s and instead accelerated into the store. He cooperated with investigators at the scene, and drugs and alcohol are not considered factors in the crash.
The collision remains under investigation; witnesses and those with information that could help the inquiry are asked to contact Senior Deputy Jeff Farmer, (805) 961-7514.