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Three hurt in three-vehicle crash at DIA’s west side passenger drop-off

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DENVER -- An elderly woman is accused of causing a three-car accident that hurt three people, including herself, about 6:30 a.m. Monday in the passenger drop-off area at Denver International Airport.

It’s the nation’s fifth-busiest airport, with 146,000 people moving through on any given day and usually without incident. But Monday morning, investigators charged an elderly driver with misdemeanors relating to careless driving resulting in injury.

“Level six is passenger drop-off here at DIA and it’s one of our busier areas," DIA spokesman Heath Montgomery said.

The usually safe sidewalk into the terminal turned treacherous Monday morning when Edna Jones, 75, was driving a black SUV. The vehicle jumped onto the sidewalk when she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, then struck a man as he was unloading bags from a car in front of her.

An airport employee said Jones was dropping off two people using their car and wasn’t used to driving it.

“(The victim) was behind the red car when he was struck. Then, he was dragged between 30 to 40 feet to those bollards that protect DIA from people driving into the airport,” Denver police spokeswoman Christine Downs said.

Police said his red car then hit a black Mercedes-Benz in front of him, injuring another pedestrian. Police didn’t have accident statistics for the area Monday. But Montgomery said they don’t happen often.

“It’s not something we’ve seen up here before. We can’t recall a time a pedestrian was struck up here on level six. So, it’s a really unfortunate and rare event for us," Montgomery said.

He said police and security guards managing traffic flow along with low travel speeds generally help keep hazards grounded.

“Accidents do happen, especially in an area like this where people are coming and going and dropping passengers off,” said Derec Schuler of Golden.

He said drivers and pedestrians just have to be aware of what’s going on around them.

Jones faces two misdemeanor charges of careless driving resulting in injury. Police said she went to the hospital, but the hospital said she wasn’t admitted.

The man who police said she hit received treatment for a broken leg. And the third person injured boarded a scheduled flight without much medical attention.

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