Woman drives car through front doors of department store

Ocala Fire Rescue firefighters work to free a Mercury Grand Marquis after its 79-year-old driver crashed through the front door of the Target store in Ocala on Thursday.

Alan Youngblood / Star-Banner
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 11:06 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 11:06 a.m.

OCALA – A woman who was getting a few tips from her pastor prior to testing Thursday to restore her driver's license got the pedals mixed up and drove a car through the front doors of a department store.

The woman, Norma Joan Brennan, 79 today, and her passenger, the Rev. Kevin Holsapple, both of Crystal River, each received citations, hers for driving while license is suspended or revoked and his for allowing an unlicensed driver to drive his Mercury Grand Marquis.

Holsapple told Ocala Police Department officers they were in the parking lot at Target off Southwest College Road and Brennan was adjusting the seat and he was giving her a few pointers when she pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal and drove through the front doors.

Holsapple is the pastor at St. Anne's Church in Crystal River, where Brennan is a member.

Brennan told police she had been a licensed driver for 50 years before her license was suspended for a medical reason, which she did not disclose.

Holsapple said he was accompanying Brennan to the driver's license center in Ocala so she could test to have her license restored.

An Ocala Fire Rescue official said when they arrived on scene, the car was inside the building near where the shopping carts are located and there was debris on top of the vehicle. He said they had to remove the metal post between the front doors in order to back the car out of the store.

Neither Brennan nor Holsapple were injured, and no store employees or customers were harmed.

Contact Austin L. Miller at 867-4118 or austin.miller@starbanner.com.

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