ALCESTER, S.D. — Two people died and six more were hospitalized as a result of a crash outside an Alcester nursing facility Monday morning.
The incident occurred at 9:30 a.m. when an 81-year-old woman driving a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix stepped on the gas instead of the brakes after pulling into a driveway area near Alcester Care and Rehab Center, according to a news release from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
The vehicle struck seven people outside of the center, as well as the building itself. Authorities believe the crash was unintentional.
The female driver is among the six who were injured in the incident. Names have not been released.
Those suffering injuries were transported to hospitals in Hawarden, Iowa, Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Some had been released as of late Monday afternoon, authorities said.
During an afternoon press conference outside the facility, Capt. Jason Husby of the South Dakota Highway Patrol said the injured were transferred via ambulances from Alcester, Beresford and Vermillion on the South Dakota side and Iowa ambulances from Ireton and Hawarden.
Additionally, helicopters from Mercy Medical Center -- Sioux City and Sanford Medical Center of Sioux Falls were called in.
At the press conference, Husby emphasized that this was an unfortunate event.
"It's horrible," Husby said. "Especially the situation we have here where there's a group of people — that's extremely unfortunate that a lot of people are affected by this."
Patrol officials say the investigation is continuing and will likely take several days to complete.