1 Hurt After SUV Drives Off Fashion Valley Parking Structure

Incident Occurred At Parking Structure Near Neiman Marcus

A woman suffered minor injuries after an SUV drove off a parking structure at the Fashion Valley mall on Saturday.

» Video: 1 Hurt After SUV Drives Off Fashion Valley Parking Structure

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The incident occurred at about 1:15 p.m. in the 7000 block of Friars Road.

According to San Diego police, an elderly couple in a BMW SUV was trying to leave a parking spot on the third level of the structure near Neiman Marcus.

Police said the driver, a 78-year-old man, was trying to back out of the spot when a passing car honked, so he pulled back into the spot to let the car pass.

The driver tried backing out again and another car honked, so the driver tried to pull back into the parking spot. Police said the driver accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, causing the SUV to crash through the guardrail.

The SUV went off the structure, hit two parked vehicles on the ground and rolled over onto its roof.

The man was able to get out of the wrecked SUV and was walking around. He was not transported to the hospital.

The 70-year-old woman, who was in the passenger seat, became trapped in the vehicle but was later freed by emergency crews. She suffered minor injuries.

"The female was taken to the hospital," said San Diego police Officer Mike Gottfried. "I believe she has some small fractures to her hand, lacerations and abrasions… but nothing major."

Police said the injuries could have been worse if not for the two cars parked below.

"It looks like the BMW actually landed on the two parked cars and that considerably slowed down the momentum of the BMW hitting the ground," said Gottfried.

Aside from the driver's error, police said the construction of the guardrail did not help.

"It really doesn't look like it's anything solid, so it probably would take a few miles an hour, but it wouldn't take a lot to go straight through that," said Gottfried.

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