An 88-year-old Jamestown resident suffered major injuries Thursday afternoon when she lost control of her car and ended up crashing into a house, the California Highway Patrol reported Friday.
About 2:30 p.m., Gina Vernazza was pulling out of her driveway at about 5 mph when she attempted to stop her 2006 Ford but missed the brake pedal and instead hit the accelerator, according to a news release from Sonora-area CHP spokesman Officer Faustino Pulido.
The Ford lurched rapidly forward, crashed through a fence and went down a dirt embankment. Vernazza was unable to regain control of the car and struck the back of a home on Johnny Drive.
The Ford's airbags deployed, but Vernazza was not wearing a seat belt. She suffered major injuries and was flown to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.
There was no report of anyone in the home being injured.
"Air bags are not designed to replace seat belts, they are to supplement lap and shoulder restraints to help limit head and chest injuries," Pulido said. "If a passenger or driver is not fully restrained, they may contact the air bag before it is fully inflated, and may sustain serious or fatal injuries."