A driver who apparently had a seizure slammed into a pedestrian on a Market Street sidewalk before careening into an office building as crowds cluttered the busy strip late Wednesday afternoon.
The driver of the silver Pontiac was headed westbound in downtown around 4:15 p.m. when he struck the pedestrian, rolled through a plaza and smacked into the high-rise at 333 Market St., according to Fire Department Battalion Chief John Hickey and a witness.
The pedestrian, the driver and a passenger in the vehicle, who was the driver’s wife, were rushed to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, authorities said.
The pedestrian, a man wearing a dark peacoat, “flipped over the hood and on the top of the car and landed on his head on the sidewalk,” said Ted Wee, who works at 333 Market St. and was mailing a letter at the time of the crash.
Wee said he passed the man on the sidewalk, then heard a “screeching and metal-scraping sound” before witnessing the horrific accident. The driver crashed through a newspaper stand, leaving a pair of hubcaps behind, before striking the man and continuing on through the plaza, finally settling in a narrow entrance to the building.
“I ran to the [pedestrian] … he was still trying to get up, but blood was pouring out of the back of his head,” Wee said. “I told him to stay put.”
Wee said he didn’t have his phone, but flagged another pedestrian, who called 911.
“I’m still in shock,” he said. “I was just a few feet from being the one [that got hit].”
Crowds formed around the accident site well before yellow tape was strung around the plaza, with onlookers snapping photos with their cell phones and marveling at the scene. Traffic on Market Street flowed smoothly after the crash despite several police and fire vehicles that had parked at the curb.
The building did not sustain structural damage, fire officials said.