Airport cart crash caught on camera

May 5, 2010 5:02:33 PM PDT
A runaway cart at Bush Intercontinental Airport was caught on camera slamming into a crowd of travelers. Surveillance video was just released to us on Wednesday, and we've learned there have been a lot of incidents involving electric carts over the past few years.

We're talking about the carts you always hear before you see at the airport. Drivers scream out, "Excuse the cart!" in the terminal. This time, the driver of the cart didn't even have time to yell a warning.

Let's say you're inside Terminal B at Bush Airport. It's March 25, just after noon, and a lady in a white shirt is running scared to get out of the way of a runaway airport cart.

"There was a woman that needed a ride so he stopped it," said Karen Eis, injured passenger.

Eis was a passenger in the second row who told us another passenger got in the front seat and put her suitcase on the gas pedal.

"Away we went and the driver, I guess it was a reflex, he turned around and was facing the cart like he was trying to stop it with his arms," Eis said.

But he couldn't stop it. The driver ended up underneath the cart. The front seat passenger fell out, too. The cart rolled over her twice. Larry Matthew was in the back seat.

"I tried to get the cart off the people and about six of seven other people came and we got it off," said Matthew.

He, Eis, the driver and that front seat passenger were all taken to the hospital. They're all recovering today.

The collision on the video is far from the only one we found. We checked the airport's records and found at least 19 other people have been hit or fell off carts since 2007 at Bush Intercontinental.

Linda Patrice, who didn't tip a driver enough, was one of them.

"When we got to get off, I was getting my grandson and he said, 'Excuse me, you owe me a tip,'" said Patrice.

She offered the driver one dollar.

"So I took a dollar to give it to him. He told me, 'No $3.' I said, 'I don't have a $3 tip,'" said Patrice.

As the driver took off, Patrice told us, "He ran over my foot. Just ran over my foot."

She ended up being OK.

In another accident, an elderly cart driver told an eyewitness, 'Wish me luck,' as she started the cart. The driver sped off, struck an airport kiosk and then, "struck a child, running him over and pinning the child between the front wheels under the cart."

The report doesn't say how severe the child's injuries were and we couldn't locate the parents.

Larry Matthew, one of the passengers in the March accident, says he'll always be wary of the carts from now on.

When we asked Matthew if he thinks the carts are safe, Matthew replied, "No, they're not."

The airport system told us they don't supervise the carts, rather Continental Airlines does. Continental told us they did all they could to help the victims in this accident, but they contract with a company called Prime Flight to run the carts. Prime Flight didn't return our calls to either their Houston or Tennessee offices.

We have posted all of the video from the airport accident here.


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