BEAVER FALLS (KDKA) — Two elderly women were critically injured Saturday afternoon when they were struck by a car after leaving a church in Beaver County.
The victims have been identified as 86-year-old Bertha Jankowski and her niece 72-year-old Joanne Kairis. Officials say both are in critical condition at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
It was a sad and horrible scene as more than 400 people stepped outside of the Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Beaver Falls around 4:30 p.m.
Mass had just let out when a Buick ran wildly out of control, down the street and onto the sidewalk. The two elderly women were leaving the church and crossed the street.
An elderly man, who told police that he may have blacked out, was driving the car.
“All I could see was theses dear ladies there and I couldn’t help myself, you know, you just feel bad,” said Mary Thompson, a witness to the accident.
The women, who both walked with canes, were almost home. They live at an elderly high rise – the Beaver Falls Plaza. It’s just across the street from the church.
One of the victims had just lost her husband and was attending Mass daily.
“It was Mrs. Jankowski that was lying down there,” said Thompson. “I said ‘Oh my gosh, her husband passed away not too long ago.’ And she’d been coming to Mass every morning.”
The driver of the car told police he doesn’t know what happened. He thinks he blacked out.
His car eventually stopped when it struck a brick and concrete pillar.
“They were just so mangled up,” said another witness. “The lady wasn’t responding at all.”
Beaver Falls police are not releasing the name of the driver, but say he is an 82-year-old man who suffered minor injuries in the crash.
So far, they have not filed any charges against him.