A driver "panicked" after crashing into a post in a Chase Bank parking lot in El Monte, leading to a series of crashes that ended when the woman's car was totaled on Wednesday evening, police said.
The woman had just made a withdrawal at the Chase Bank at Lower Azusa Road and Santa Anita Avenue around 6:45 p.m. when she struck a 3-foot post while trying to exit the parking lot, according to El Monte Police Department Senior Patrolman Ralph Batres.
The initial crash left the woman "panicked," and she tried to back out, he said.
“She put the car in reverse at full throttle – because she’s in panic mode – and she crashes into a car right here in the parking lot," Batres told KTLA.
The woman -- "still in panic mode" -- continued in reverse and ended up slamming into the bank, shattering the double glass doors and nearly hitting an employee, he said.
After that, she put the car into drive and drove forward through the parking lot, took out some bushes and ended up on Lower Azusa where she collided with another vehicle, according to Batres.
The incident ended when the woman crashed into a nearby AT&T building, which left her car totaled.
No one was injured, including the woman and her grandchild, who was strapped into a car seat in the back seat.
“We are very lucky that nobody was hurt in this accident … because there are so many points of impact that she’s lucky to be alive," Batres said.
Police took the unidentified woman's driver's license and she will have to be retested at the DMV, according to Batres. He said she was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
It was not immediately clear how much damage the crashes caused.
"When you're in an accident and you crash, stop," Batres advised. "Even if you're in panic mode, just get your hands off the wheel, get your feet off the pedals, stop. That's what we're here for, it's just an accident, nobody's going to get hurt, you go on to live another day."