Witness reacts to woman being hit by car at Lilac Festival

Updated: 05/12/2014 11:20 PM
Created: 05/12/2014 10:58 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

It was a terrifying experience at the Lilac Festival. A 94-year-old woman was hit by a car and police say the man behind the wheel was drunk.

This happened in one of the festival parking lots on South Avenue Saturday night. Investigators say Helen Uffelman was walking to her car when she was hit. David Dispirito, 51, of Greece, is facing charges including vehicular assault, DWI and resisting arrest.

Ron Kurimsky saw it all happen, but more than that, he tried to stop the crash. 

Ron Kurimsky said, “When he floored it, the tail of the flat bed went out and we heard this little bit of screech that immediately got our attention.”

Ron Kurimsky knew something was wrong when he noticed a black pickup truck turning into a parking area. He was working for Armor Security and Protection Saturday and saw the crash that injured Helen Uffelman.

Kurimsky said, “We just yelled at that point 'to get your hands on the wheel' because he kept it on the lever and the shifter as he continued to move and back out.”

But Kurimsky says he couldn't stop the driver.

Rochester Police came over and Kurimsky says they were able to restrain him, but Kurimsky says it was frightening to see. It's what the driver said that scared Kurimsky the most.

Kurimsky said, “Sadly, his comment was, ‘my life is over, it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.’ I say well, it does matter.’”

News10NBC did reach out to Uffelman's family for an interview, but they declined. The victim’s stepdaughter, Kim Mooney, described the crash to police, saying, “When the guy was barreling toward us with his truck, I was holding on to my stepmom's arm. We ran between some parked cars. When I started running, I heard the guy hit one car and then a second car and then I realized we were both on the ground." 

Mooney was not hurt. Uffelman's condition has been upgraded to satisfactory.

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