Woman and 2 children in hospital after driverless car hits them

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches woman, her son and her niece are being treated for serious injuries after a driverless vehicle hit them at Lake Nacogdoches Sunday.

Kim Pham, 42, suffered serious damage to her legs and internal injuries. She remains in the ICU at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. Her son, Samual Pham, 3, is also in the hospital. A neice, Hazel Nguyen, 3, of Houston was released from the hospital today.

According to a Nacogdoches Police report, a vehicle rolled out of the parking lot and down an embankment and hit a picnic table and several pedestrians.

"My family was enjoying a day at the lake and it turned into a horrible tragedy," said Peter Pham, the woman's husband. "We had just gone skiing. We were entertaning my brother and sister in law from Houston. My wife had all the children gathered around the concrete picnic table to the left of the boat ramp. Some of the older children got up to watch me light a fire for a barbque. Suddenly afterwards a blue, late model car came down the embankment," Pham described.

"It happened so fast, but it seemed like slow motion. I yelled at them all to get away, but there was nothing they could do," Pham said.

Pham says the car pushed his wife from behind into the concrete table, causing the table to fall on her and the two children. Mrs Pham's legs were badly damaged requiring surgery, according to Pham. Internal bleeding is delaying further surgeries. Pham said his wife was taken off a ventilator today.

On Tuesday his son will undergo a second surgery on his leg. His neice had debris removed from her eyes. "She'll be alright. Everyone should recover, but it was frightening. All the children cried all night and couldn't sleep," said Pham.

Pham is spending his time at his son's bedside and visiting his wife periodically in ICU. "I am concerned. There were no barriers in the parking lot. No concrete bumpers at all. Also there were no barriers around the picnic areas. That is very risky," Pham commented.

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