American drives 4x4 onto Merc

2012-04-10 10:28

Pretoria - An American woman who presumably thought her borrowed car’s accelerator pedal was the brake pedal sped off through a Pretoria mall’s parking area, landing on top of Mercedes-Benz.

Pictures of the black Suzuki Vitara on top of the gold Mercedes-Benz bonnet have been circulating on the internet over the past two weeks after the incident at the parking area of the Cornwall View shopping centre in eastern Pretoria.

Gerard Zackey, manager of Liquor City in this centre, said he was busy in his shop at about 16:30 on the afternoon of 30 March when he heard a loud bang.

He went outside to see the Suzuki on the Mercedes-Benz and an upset American woman.


“When I saw the two vehicles, I didn’t think something like this was possible, but when the woman explained it to me, it started to make sense,” said Zackey.

He said the woman had come to visit her sister in Pretoria.

She had borrowed her sister’s car that afternoon to drive to the shopping centre.

The woman, who was used to a left-hand steering wheel, presumably became disorientated in her sister’s car.

“She drove into the parking area. When she wanted to stop, she stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal,” said Zackey.

“She drove over a wall, pushed a lamppost out of the ground and landed on top of the Mercedes-Benz, which was in a parking space.

“She drove a 4x4 so she managed to get over the wall quite easily.”

Zackey said when the driver of the Mercedes-Benz got to the scene, she was shocked to see what had happened to her car.

But she didn’t make a big fuss after the American women explained to her what had happened.

Tow trucks removed the two cars from the parking area about three hours later.

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-04-10 10:31

    Nom nom nom

      Piet - 2012-04-10 11:59

      try that with a landrover!!! And it is a softroader!!!

      Mattewis - 2012-04-10 12:48

      I saw something similar in an East London parking lot nearly two decades ago, when a woman in a Cressida station wagon parked her car on the roof of a Honda Ballade - lengthwise! The aerodynamic wedge-shape of the Ballade didn't count in its favour in that case. The cause was stated as the Cressida accelerator cable getting stuck in the full-throttle position! Nobody got hurt.

      Fazel - 2012-04-10 15:57

      She was in a hurry for a sale.

  • Kala - 2012-04-10 10:35

    Left or right hand drive - The pedals remain the same. Right foot accelerator left foot brake. I could understand that instead of changing gears she opened a window.

      Azande - 2012-04-10 10:43


      paulmandlankosi - 2012-04-10 11:20


      infijar.ken - 2012-04-10 11:30

      Well, right foot accelerator, middle brake (also right foot, unless a rally driver), left foot clutch (unless an automatic). As you state though, they are in the same order lhd or rhd. No excuse (though I heard Jeff Goldblum use the same excuse on Top Gear - Star in the reasonably priced car - once!).

      Kala - 2012-04-10 11:43

      Nah infijar.ken. But I keep practicing in the hope that one day I will get offered a drive:)

      Jabu - 2012-04-10 12:45

      Ha Kala, what car do u drive? "Left foot brake" ????? Don't wanna be your pasenger!!!!

  • Lungile Rlm - 2012-04-10 10:42

    @Kala.......WTF,you only use the left foot for the clutch pedal not the brake pedal. I can conclude that you don't have a learners drivers license.

      Kala - 2012-04-10 10:44

      Oops. Quite correct Lungile. Although I have been driving for many years I am quite able to brake with my left foot. Don't try it in on a busy road though.

      Kala - 2012-04-10 10:53

      By the way I drive about 5 000km a month and have had my licence since 1991.

      infijar.ken - 2012-04-10 11:32

      Kala, see my above, I sent that before I read your replies here. So you are a Rally Driver then?

      werner.smidt - 2012-04-10 11:55

      Actually, Kala could be driving like a boss . . left foot braking is a more advanced trick if I'm not mistaken.

  • Compos - 2012-04-10 10:47

    wall climbing for the lazy....

  • jackal666.daniel - 2012-04-10 10:48

    Epic fail!!!

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-04-10 10:54

    She should have hired an automatic car. We all know that Americans can't drive shift-stick.

  • Mbongeni - 2012-04-10 10:58

    and the award gors to the LADY again......... few weeks back another lady drove off a parking lot down a small cliff into the free way nose first what next...

  • Dave - 2012-04-10 11:00

    And men pay more for vehicle insurance???

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-04-10 11:25

      Exactly... where is the sense?

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-04-10 11:03

    If you exceed the speed limit, you may possibly endanger other lives, so we throw the book at you. If you are incompetent, you will definitely endanger other lives, but it is O.K. So we will just laugh it off.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-04-10 11:04

    THIS is old i got the email like two weeks ago, maybe check your facts...and where this came from i would be embarrassed placing this on the news two weeks later

  • brionyl.french - 2012-04-10 11:07

    oh and in the other pictures it looks like a maid driving the car and on the phone....just to get the facts right here

  • muhammed.omarjee - 2012-04-10 11:18

    For Sale: Mercedes Benz...Stripping for spares, bonnet not available, comes with a suzuki vitara and a driving handbook. What offers?

      Kala - 2012-04-10 11:38

      But no Mercedes badge

  • KingMikel89 - 2012-04-10 11:19

    American "women"... How many women drove this vehicle? The singular term is "woman". Retarded journalists i tell you.

  • Marion - 2012-04-10 11:20

    roflmfao - glad no one was injured.

  • paulmandlankosi - 2012-04-10 11:20

    She was taking a short cut to the mall

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-04-10 11:24

    Hahahaha that's hilarious!!!

  • mokheled - 2012-04-10 11:53

    @Kala u shud be a comedian u hilarious.

  • tednhet - 2012-04-10 12:00

    HaHa. I work there, and was told that the driver of the Merc was sitting in his car when it happened.

  • piet.strydom - 2012-04-10 12:01

    Watch out Suzuki, I see a claim for "unintended accelleration" coming. See it is not just Toyotas.....

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-04-10 12:11


  • Kaylee - 2012-04-10 12:07

    hmm interesting , considering that a right hand drive car with 3 foot pedals uses the same pedal order as a left hand drive .

  • eddie.laubscher - 2012-04-10 12:25

    I was there when it happened. The owner(he) of the Merc was in the car at the time. You missed the domestic jumping out of the car while in transit.

  • Luke - 2012-04-10 12:51

    Free advertising for Suzuki ^^!

  • Mirrorman - 2012-04-10 12:59

    I thought the pedals on right and and left hand cars are in the same order... eish....

  • Adino - 2012-04-10 13:32

    It's not so much the fact that she forgot the orientation of the pedals - maybe she was confused by being in a different hemisphere (or something lol)- but how fast do you go in a shopping mall to to carry enough momentum to take you over a wall, through a pole & on top of another car???

      Heiku - 2012-04-10 17:02

      Putting foot on the accelerator pedal tends to make the vehicle accelerate. "The more you know!"

      Str Browny - 2012-04-10 18:57

      Isnt the brake pedals always in the middle ? surely she was constipated

  • moegamat.manuel - 2012-04-10 13:35

    wherther youi driving left hand or right hand drive everthing is the same, maybe she had something to drink,

  • Vernon - 2012-04-10 14:13

    champion f up

  • delahvonne - 2012-04-10 17:51

    Classy for the lady of the Mercedes not to make a fuss

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