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Sudden Acceleration Blamed for Second Jeep Accident

Sudden Acceleration Blamed for Second Jeep Accident

Posted - Mar. 19, 2004 at 9:24 p.m.



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Sandra Yi ReportingA Jeep Cherokee crashed through a garage this evening. The driver claims it suddenly accelerated. Could this be another case of a runaway vehicle?

The driver claims she was braking as the car continued to ram through the garage. It all happened, at a home in Sandy. The homeowner thought there was an earthquake. She was stunned to find out, what really had happened.

Chris Kennicott: "I came out the back door to see a Jeep Grand Cherokee right out the business entrance."

Kennicott owns Coats and Tails Groomery in Sandy. She says a customer was parking in the driveway when the woman's brand new Jeep Cherokee suddenly accelerated. The Jeep hit the side of the garage and took out both doors.

Chris Kennicott: "One's right here. This garage door and that one is on top of the Jeep."

Her husband's truck was parked in the garage. The car was going fast enough to push it into the backyard.

Chris Kennicott: "What I heard, what the neighbors heard, it sounded like an earthquake. The whole house shook and it just kept going on and on. It sounded like breaking glass."

Kennicott says the whole thing may have been an accident.

Chris Kennicott: "I own a Jeep Grand Cherokee. They're scary. Who knows what to expect?"

Last month the driver of another Jeep Cherokee says his vehicle malfunctioned when it slammed into two Deseret Morning News reporters. The driver was not charged.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's web site lists several complaints of unintended acceleration in 2003 and older models. The NHTSA says there could be several reasons why, but a mechanical defect has not been proven.

Chris Kennicott: "There's a problem with these Jeeps because you can see by those skid marks that she had her feet on the brakes."

But Sandy Police are investigating whether the skid marks are evidence of a brake problem. They could also be acceleration marks. The Jeep's driver will not be charged because no one was hurt and the crash happened on private property.

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