Reporting Bill Hudson
WOODBURY, Minn. (WCCO) — It was just after 10 a.m. Wednesday when Hannah Osorio and Jenna McChesney pulled into a Woodbury Super America station to fill-up with gas. No sooner had they gotten out of their car when they heard the screams and witnessed a terrible sight near the front entrance to the store.
A customer walking outside the store in the front parking lot was suddenly struck and pinned by a Ford Excursion. His legs appeared to be wrapped up in the front wheel well with the heavy axel, crushing the left side of his chest.
“And then everybody started screaming and running over there and the gentleman driving the Excursion tried backing up the vehicle to get off the other gentleman, but it just made the whole thing worse,” Osorio said.
The tan sport utility vehicle remained parked on the spot where its 45-year-old driver hit the man. Before paramedics and firefighters arrived on the scene, Osorio, McChesney and several others were at his side but there was little they could do.
“So I just tried keeping the guy conscious so he wouldn’t pass out cause he was in that state with his head open that much, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said McChesney.
When firefighters pulled up they used pneumatic tools to jack the massive vehicle up and off the victim. A state patrol reconstruction team arrived a short time later to begin the task of documenting the scene. Woodbury Police Commander Jay Alberio said their investigation is continuing.
For those who came face to face with the tragedy, it’s still fresh in their minds and impossible to forget.
“He (the victim) was talking and answering questions I asked him and then pretty much just went into shock, just started moaning,” said McChesney.
“It was rough, he was in rough shape. I’ve never seen anything so horrific,” Osorio said.
Police say the 65-year-old victim, Kenneth Burke from Little Canada, was transported to Regions Hospital and is currently listed in critical condition. Authorities identified the driver of the vehicle who hit Burke as Michael Carroll of Woodbury. Police said it doesn’t appear at this time that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the incident.