“It was a very scary experience,” Rev. Beverly Brewster said as she described watching a car “inexplicably accelerate” toward her San Anselmo Church.
Brewster was just beginning a Bible study class Thursday evening at the Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church at 100 Tarry Road. She was facing the parking lot and could clearly see the vehicle as it approached, seeming to “take off” like an airplane and slam through a post, a stone wall and into a patio.
“We saw her coming,” Brewster said. “That’s a scary experience.”
The accident occurred around 6:15 p.m., she said.
Thankful that there were no injuries, Brewster noted that the church had raised funds just last summer to replace the church roof and patio roof. The patio will require extensive repairs. She’s confident that property and auto insurance will take care of the funding.
Brewster said the car ended up holding up the patio, as the support was destroyed. It took about four hours before the vehicle could be removed.
Brewster said the driver of the car was an elderly woman and it is surmised that she hit the gas instead of the brake, causing the unexpected acceleration.
California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Andrew Barclay said the department was “still deciphering what happened.” He said whenever a car plows into a building, “It’s a pretty serious thing to have happen.”
It is likely, he said, that the driver would be evaluated for any issues that could lead to similar events. However, investigators at the scene dismissed the idea that she was intoxicated.
Brewster said the driver was not a member of the church. She said she had asked some of the congregation to check in on the driver, who was uninjured.
Services resumed at the church on Sunday.
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