Police report cites stuck accelerator as possible cause of Louisville accident


by Anna Prendergast


Posted on February 1, 2010 at 10:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 2 at 12:43 AM

Witnesses say that a driver's accelerator got stuck while he was in a parking lot sending the car down an embankment.

The driver, Todd Allen, is in serious condition at University Hospital.

He was driving a 2010 Toyota Camry, a car on Toyota’s re-call list because of a possible sticky gas pedal.

And in his police report Allen says he had his foot on the break but the car kept going.

Michael Helm witnessed accident aftermath calling it “scary.”

Helm was in the parking lot at Cox's Smoker Outlet on Blue Lick Road when he heard people yelling.

He ran over and saw a 2010 Toyota Camry up-side-down in the creek. The man driving the re-called Camry says he pulled into this parking spot and pushed his breaks but the car kept going.

The Camry went over the parking space blocks and down a12 foot embankment.

“Everyone was trying to predict what happened no one knew but the guys in the car,” said Helm.

But in a police report officers detected that the front wheels of the vehicle dug into the snow bank as if the accelerator was stuck.

Also in the report, a witness told police she could hear the sound of the engine accelerating just before it went over the edge.

Along with the driver, there were 3 other men in the car. Helm says he saw 2 of them crawl out of the car into the freezing water.

All three passengers were treated and okay but the driver is in serious condition at University Hospital.

Toyota apologized to customers Monday, saying dealers should have a fix to the problem by the end of the week.

Toyota says a piece of steel about the size of a postage stamp will fix the gas pedal problem and that the repair should take about a half an hour.

WHAS11 went to Toyota of Louisville about the problem to find out what Toyota customers affected by the recall need to do.

Toyota says affected owners will be notified by mail and told to set up an appointment at the dealership.

Cars already on the road will be given priority over those still sitting on the dealers' lots.

And a reminder: Indiana State Police released these actions you should take if you have a problem with a Toyota brake hard with both feet, slide your car into neutral and then turn off the engine.