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Senior couple escapes major injury following RV wreck in El Centro

January 30, 2010|By SILVIO J. PANTA, By Staff Writer
  • SILVIO J. PANTA PHOTO No serious injuries were reported Friday following a 10:03 a.m. accident involving a recreational vehicle that crashed into a Verizon Wireless sign and nearly toppled a ficus tree at the parking lot near the Vons market in El Centro.
SILVIO J. PANTA PHOTO
No serious injuries were reported Friday following a 10:03 a.m. accident involving a recreational vehicle that crashed into a Verizon Wireless sign and nearly toppled a ficus tree at the parking lot near the Vons market in El Centro.

No serious injuries were reported Friday when a recreational vehicle sped about 40 feet in the parking lot of the Vons supermarket in El Centro and crashed into a tree and sign, police said.

David Reitsma’s RV nearly toppled over a ficus tree during the 10:03 a.m. incident before it came to rest against the sign of the nearby Verizon store.

Reitsma, a senior Canadian resident who with his wife, Emma, was on the way to Yuma, suffered a large scratch across the left side of his neck.

El Centro police suspect Reitsma accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake, El Centro police Sgt. Ray Bonillas said.

Liz Villa, a secretary with the Imperial Irrigation District, said she was traveling south on Imperial Avenue the moment she saw Reitsma’s RV plow into the tree and sign.

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Villa said she pulled into the parking lot to see if she could help. While spending time talking to Emma Reitsma, Villa said the elderly couple had “loaded up” with food they bought from Vons and were on vacation.

Moments after El Centro firefighters helped him out of the mangled wreckage of his RV, Reitsma sat on his motorized scooter and said that his right foot got wedged between the brake and accelerator.

When asked how old her husband is, Emma Reitsma said she didn’t want their ages known.

“We thank the Lord that both of us are OK,” Reitsma said, to which Emma Reitsma added, “We never had an accident in our lives.

>> Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at spanta@ivpressonline.com

SILVIO J. PANTA PHOTO
No serious injuries were reported Friday following a 10:03 a.m. accident involving a recreational vehicle that crashed into a Verizon Wireless sign and nearly toppled a ficus tree at the parking lot near the Vons market in El Centro.
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