Shoppers and employees tense after deadly grocery store crash in Gulfgate area

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Police say the mom died protecting her two-year-old daughter when the SUV slammed into the store (KTRK)

The H-E-B in southeast Houston reopened Tuesday, one day after one woman was killed and six others hurt, when an SUV slammed through the front of the building.

The area where the SUV hit is still boarded up, but shoppers returned to the store, many of them wondering why those stone barriers in front didn't keep the vehicle from hitting the grocery store.

Photos from inside the H-E-B


"That could've been me," one woman said. "It could've been anyone, you know? You go to the store you don't think these accidents happen."

The young mother killed was 31-year-old Carla Sanchez. She was in the checkout line with her two-year-old daughter and sister. They were among the six others hurt.

Police say a 74-year-old woman backed out of her parking spot and drove through a set of glass doors, knocking one of the stone barriers off its base.

"They probably need to take a look at those and see if they can secure those a little better, but you would imagine that they are anchored a lot better than obviously what they are," said Jarrone Williams, an H-E-B shopper.

"It definitely needs to be looked at and I think they need to figure out another solution because this obviously isn't working," said Lesley Barnes, another shopper.

H-E-B is investigating, but didn't provide abc13 with an update Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, inside the store, employees are still talking about what happened.

"You can tell it affected the people in there," said one shopper.

"The feeling is definitely tense, employees are in there talking about it," Williams said.

No charges have been filed against the 74-year-old driver. Her husband tells abc13 she doesn't know what happened, but thinks the SUV made a strange sound right before the accident. He says she isn't on prescription medicine and has a good driving record.
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