Maryland mom recalls saving kids before crash at Sam’s Club

Investigators look through the service doors at the Sam\'s Club in Gaithersburg. A car hit one person outside and two people inside Tuesday. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
Orellana recalls hearing the car approaching

Megan Cloherty | November 14, 2014 7:58 pm

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WASHINGTON – A Maryland mom managed to push her kids to safety before she was hit and injured at a Gaithersburg Sam’s Club Tuesday.

“I noticed the car coming up. He looked like he was stopping to me, so I continued on and I heard the engine. So, I just sort of reacted before I was hit,” says Sheila Orellana.

She managed to push her 3-year-old, Joel, and the cart holding her 15-month-old, Ely, in front of her before she was thrown in the air by the impact.

“I came down pretty hard on my left side. I’m very lucky it’s mostly just bruises,” she says. To her, the most important thing is that her boys were not hurt.

“They were both fine. My younger one was just drinking away on on his lemonade — didn’t seem phased in the slightest. My older one, that was walking, he was standing there by the cart. I think he was confused,” Orellana says.

After realizing the car had careened through the Sam’s Club building and others were hurt, the mom from Derwood, Md., she just wanted to spare her kids the memory.

“I just wanted them out of there and to know that they were safe. I didn’t want them to be seeing all these emergency vehicles. I knew there had to be injuries inside. And I didn’t want — especially my older one — to witness that, to have those visions in his head,” Orellana says.

Montgomery County police identified the other victims as Dimas M. Chavez, 76, of Potomac, Md., who lost part of his leg, and Thaan Buithuan, age 33, of Boyds, Md.

Police say just before 1 p.m. Tuesday the 77-year-old driver of a gold Buick LeSabre, Subinoy Mazumdar, of North Potomac, first struck Orellana as she was walking through the parking lot of the store on North Frederick Avenue.

Then the Buick crashed into the interior of the building striking Chavez and Buithuan. Buithuan sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Suburban Hospital.

The driver, Mazumdar, was not injured, police say.

Police are asking anyone with information about the crash to call them at 240-773- 6620.

The building was damaged enough that a building inspector had to be called in.

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