Sheila Orellana was on her way to her car outside the Sam’s Club in Gaithersburg Tuesday afternoon when she realized a car at a nearby stop sign was starting to come toward her. She had her 3-year-old and 15-month-old sons with her.
"He had a stop sign," the 31-year-old Orellana told us before she left Shady Grove Adventist Hospital hours after the bizarre crash. "And so I started passing in front of him and had made it almost completely in front of the vehicle ... when I just heard the engine. And so I didn't even really look at him. I just reacted to move my kids out of the way."
Sons Joel and Eli were okay. Their goldfish snacks and lemonade never left their hands. But the front driver's side bumper of the Buick LeSabre being driven by 77-year-old Subinoy Mazumdar of North Potomac, Md., sent Orellana flying through the air.
"I landed on my left side on the concrete so I'm probably going to have a pretty big bruise on my hip. It's very tender and sore," she tells us. "But I consider myself very lucky, especially because my kids were with me."
When the Buick crashed into the food court at Sam’s Club, two military medical students were right there. Ensign John Hunt says he heard an explosion.
"We look over and there's a car just speeding through Sam’s Club and people are screaming," Hunt explains. "It was a scary situation."
Hunt and Second Lieutenant Wells Weymouth are second-year medical students at Uniformed Services University, the military's medical school in Bethesda.
"This course we're taking is meant for these situations," says Hunt.
He and Weymouth were the first to help a 76-year-old shopper crushed inside the food court. A man they kept from bleeding to death.
"We maintained pressure on the wound and used our belts as tourniquets and used other people's belts as makeshift tourniquets before the paramedics and firefighters arrived,” says Weymouth. “He was breathing fine. We just went through the mental checklist of life-saving procedures that we could accomplish during that time."
Dimas Chavez, 76, of Potomac, Md., was flown to Baltimore's Shock Trauma. Montgomery County police say Chavez needed to have his leg amputated.
"I felt like we did the best we could," Hunt says.
Police investigators are still trying to figure out what caused Mazumdar's car to crash into the store.
So far, he has not been charged in the case.
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