P.E.I. women narrowly escape Pass crash

Harry Sullivan
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TRURO - Quick reflexes saved two P.E.I. woman from injury Monday morning when a truck slammed into the Cobequid Pass toll booth they were stopped at.
"We had just parked in front of the toll booth and I had handed the gentleman my money and he was going to give me a receipt," said Charlottetown resident Nora McCarthy, who along with Doreen Pippy was travelling to Sydney.
"He looked up over my shoulder and he looked back at me very briefly and then back to what he was looking at and I knew something was coming. And before he had a chance to say anything, the car got pushed, there was this horrible screeching noise, so we knew something hit the building.
"The car got pushed ahead and it tore out the side of the door and of course the glass shattered over my shoulder and there was diesel fuel sprayed inside the car. And I just hit the gas to get us away from what was coming behind us, which sounded like it was coming from above us."
Looking at the carnage left behind in the spot where their car had been, the pair said they felt "very lucky" to have walked away unscathed after a five-tonne truck slammed into the tollbooth they were stopped at.
"I had no idea what was happening," McCarthy said. "It just happened so quickly that I just did what I could to get out of there, which was drive the car forward, obviously. ...
"I imagine it would've been fairly close if we had stayed there because we were right in front of the toll booth (that got struck)…. Because we got out of there in time it (the truck) didn't hit us. It was actually the tollbooth that slammed into our car. It was pushing us forward."
The ensuing damage left their new rented Mazda with a shattered driver's window, a huge gash along the left rear door, a badly bent front rim and other dents and scrapes. The black stains of diesel fuel were also evident where it had splashed and dried on the paint.
Pippy said the ordeal occurred too quickly for the women to be scared, though it did leave them somewhat shaken and in shock when they realized what had occurred.
"Just the feeling of being pushed and the sounds of the crash," she said.
"It was a little frightening, but we're OK."
She said workers at the site tried to shout a warning, but by then the accident was in full progress.
"The workers beside me were saying, 'Get out of the way,'" Pippy said. "But they were looking above us, so I didn't know what they were telling us. And Nora just gunned it and drove out as fast as we could."

Organizations: Mazda

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Sydney

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