Family’s Ford Escape crashes in Texas; Ford recall questioned

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Tammy Graham drove her 2001 Ford Escape for 11 years; now, it sits in the back lot of an auto shop near her home in Baytown, TX, outside of Houston.
The front bumper is crushed in, the airbags deployed and goldfish are still scattered in the back where her son sat before the SUV accelerated out of control and crashed less than two months ago.
“We had four vehicles in the garage,” she said, “all Fords.”
Graham’s husband, James, races Fords. Their 9-year-old son Hunter collects them.
“We were huge Ford fans,” she said.
That all changed one day in June when she was driving with her two young sons to go pick out Father’s Day presents.
Driving on the freeway, “I started accelerating,” she said, “and it went all the way down to the floor.” She said she looked at the speedometer and it read 80 mph.
“I tried to tap the brake,” she said, but it didn’t help. “Then I stood on the brake with both feet and it was still going very fast.”
She was coming up on an intersection with cars backed up at a stoplight. There was a ditch on one side of her and the freeway on the other. “There was nowhere else for me to go,” she said.
She remembered pulling the emergency brake but the Escape still didn’t slow down.
“So I told my sons, ‘Hold on, Mommy can’t stop the car,’” she said.
The police report says “she turned the vehicle to the left and attempted to drag the vehicle along the freeway wall to make it slow gradually.” But Graham turned the SUV too sharply, according to the report, and “and the front struck the wall in full force.”
“The airbag deployed and I thought I was seeing the bright lights of heaven,” Graham said.
The first people to the scene to help her and her sons were workers at a Ford dealership right across the street from the accident. Graham credits them with helping save their lives.

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