SUV hits Pacifica politician, restaurant

 Cal Hinton, the 81-year-old City Council member who recently underwent hip replacement surgery, was seriously injured by a sport utility vehicle that plowed into a newly remodeled restaurant late Wednesday afternoon.

The longtime council member had been walking past Camelot Fish & Chips restaurant at 70 Manor Drive around 4:20 p.m. when 60-year-old Mary Motoh, of Daly City, skidded her Dodge Durango, injuring him and crashing into the restaurant’s entrance, Pacifica police said.

Three people in the eatery were uninjured, but Hinton suffered a broken femur, police said.

The uninjured Motoh told police that she was attempting to park in front of the eatery and that her car did not stop when she braked. The car then jumped the curb, crashing into Hinton and the restaurant.

“She is shaken up, but OK,” North County Fire Authority spokeswoman Angelina Ciucci said.

Officers later checked the car and found the brakes to be in working order. A preliminary investigation indicates that Motoh stepped on the gas instead of the brakes.

Joanna Cruz, a witness to the crash who lives behind the restaurant, said Motoh did indeed step on the gas.

Hinton was treated on scene and rushed to San Francisco General Hospital, police said.

Bill Meyerhoff, owner of Seaview Tire, which sits adjacent to the restaurant, said Hinton was visiting him before the crash and was going to the butcher’s shop up the street. Two dozen emergency service officials from the Pacifica Police Department and North County Fire Authority pulled the barely damaged Dodge out of the small restaurant at about 5 p.m.

Hinton was talking and even laughing after he was hit, Meyerhoff said.

“That’s shock, that’s what that is,” he said. “But he is a tough guy.”

The council member’s relatives could not be reached for comment. Councilmember Julie Lancelle did not know about the accident and said she felt very sorry for her colleague.

Wednesday’s accident was the second time the restaurant was hit by a car in the last decade, Meyerhoff said. Camelot Fish & Chips underwent an interior remodeling last week, witnesses said.

Immediately after the accident, the restaurant was cordoned off as the owner and assistants cleaned the glass, brick and wood inside. The restaurant’s owner said she was too upset to comment, but her friend, who asked to remain anonymous, said the damage to the restaurant would cost between $12,000 and $15,000.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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