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Parma Hts police investigate car after driver backs into crowd of dancers in Parma

Posted at 5:54 PM, Aug 22, 2016

Parma Heights police said they are investigating the vehicle involved in an incident that injured nine people Sunday night at Greenbriar Commons off of Pearl Road. Three victims are still hospitalized. One is in critical condition.

“It doesn’t appear to be any type of medical condition," said Det. Sgt. Steve Scharschmidt of the Parma Heights police department. "It just appears to be an accident. She thought she was going to hit the brake, she hit the gas.”

Surveillance video shows a car backing up into a crowd of people near and in the commons. Police said the car is a 2009 Nissan Sentra, and the driver is a 74-year-old woman.

The incident happened during a summer concert series where people gathered to dance and listen to a band play. The driver plowed through the dance floor then continued onto the park lawn and rammed into a SUV.

"Scariest thing in my life to see," said Nancy of Garfield Heights who did not want her last name published. She said she was sitting just a few feet away from the dance floor and narrowly escaped serious injury.

According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, the 2009 Nissan Sentra has one recall, which has to do with a malfunction of the car's navigation system. The administration has received 34 complaints about the vehicle. Many of them have to do with steering and brake noise issues. But one complaint, made by a consumer in Mason, Ohio nearly two years ago, read, "the vehicle failed to stop due to brake vibration and instability and hitting another vehicle, and my son died in the accident due to severe injuries."

Police said at this point there is no indication that problems with the car caused the accident.

They have not filed any charges against the driver as they continue to investigate the case. They also said she has a valid driver's license.