Kosta Kersto is relieved his daughter is still alive.
“We just have to thank God nothing serious happened,” he said after a Toyota smashed into him and daughter Christel outside a Morris Park bakery.
The Bedford Park father had the shock of his life Sunday, October 14 when an elderly driver hit the gas instead of the brake as he was backing into a parking space, ramming both before crashing into the front of Enrico’s Pastry.
It left the ten-year-old with several injuries, including a bloody gash below her chin.
Christel had been outside the store while her mom was at the register. Kosta, meantime, had asked his typical ten-year-old whether she wanted ice cream after eyeing some it.
Just then a 90-year-old City Island man, trying to park his Toyota, sped backwards, jumping the curb and T-boning Christel.
Kosta, standing at the bakery entrance, was also hit.
“The car was like a bomb,” recalled Kesto. “Bang!”
Christel dropped to the ground as chunks of glass showered up on her chin, creating a bloody gash.
“The pane of glass fell basically right down on her head,” said Kim Mercado, who rushed from the Chase Bank across the street. “It was not a sight I want to see again.”
“Another inch and it would have been the jugular vein,” said Mercado, who treated the little girl with help from a doctor nearby. “I still got the blood on my clothes.” Christel was taken to Jacobi Hospital, where doctors stiched up her injury.
“I’m thankful it was not much worse,” said Kosta.
The driver, who remained at the scene, was not charged, though Kosta fumed over his clumsiness.
“It’s unbelieveable how someone could drive like that on the sidewalk.”
The crash was the talk of Morris Park the next day as neighbors expressed shock over the accident.
Mary Monti called on the state Department of Motor Vehicles to re-test the elderly to see if “they’re all there.”
“The reflexes when you’re old are not there,” said Monti, herself a senior citizen.
The crash was not Enrico’s first brush with a bang.
Owner Joe Floriano remembers a similar crash that happened outside the shop when he was a little boy.
“Lightning hits twice,” said Floriano.
Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383