2 elderly pedestrians struck by vehicle outside Santa Rosa market

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SANTA ROSA (KTVU)--  A North Bay woman is jailed on felony DUI charges, after running down two elderly women in the Oakmont retirement community east of Santa Rosa.

The crash happened Wednesday about 1:30 p.m. on Oakmont Drive, as the women were on the sidewalk, walking home from the dry cleaners.

One victim, 91-year-old Josephine Ross suffered serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

The other, 85-year-old Jackie Simon is more critically injured and may not survive.

"Most of the people here are very safe," resident Barbara Londerville told KTVU, "so this is sad, very sad."

Londerville and other residents gathered outside the Oakmont Village Market, watching the police investigation on the closed section of street.

A shattered pair of eyeglasses lay on the pavement, with a circle painted around it, a point of impact.  

77-year-old Gayle Gray was driving out of the shopping plaza when she hit the gas pedal of her Lexus instead of the brake.

"She ran into both of the pedestrians and carried them a distance on the hood until they fell off the car," Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Ryan Corcoran told KTVU.

At that point, the sedan was moving fast enough to mow down a metal street sign, jump the median and collide with an embankment on the other side. 

"She just plowed them down, there was no braking or anything," witness Renee Pfeiffer told KTVU.

Pfeiffer was working behind the grocery counter and ran out to find the women  sprawled in the street.

"The first one, near the median, looked like she had her head cracked open, and the other one looked like she had been run over, " described Pfeiffer.     

Only when officers arrived did Gray step out of her vehicle, to see what had happened.

"When the first officer arrived on the scene she was still sitting in the drivers seat of the car," said Sgt. Corcoran.

Gray told investigators that her small dog, riding on her lap, had distracted her.

But police say she failed a field sobriety test. 

"They observed signs of intoxication, including alcohol and prescription medication," confirmed Corcoran.

Gray was handcuffed and taken away for questioning.

After being medically cleared from the crash, she was booked into the Sonoma County Jail.

Sgt. Corcoran notes Gray has at least one prior DUI, in 2002.

She is a resident of Oakmont as well.

Oakmont inhabitants told KTVU threat in a retirement community, reckless driving is rare.

"No, it's slow driving, everyone drives slow here," resident Karen O'Conner told KTVU.

"And that's nice, keeps everyone safe. I'm very surprised it was drunk driving. "

Both victims, Ross and Simon, live at an assisted living facility just steps away from where they were hit.

The administrator at Oakmont Gardens declined comment on the accident, out of respect for the families, but admitted it had been "a tough day."   

After a few hours of investigation, the remnants of the crash were cleared and Oakmont Drive reopened.

But the incident left witnesses shaken.

"It's pretty sad, " admitted store clerk Pfeiffer.

"They are regulars here, so this really upsets us."

Gray faces potential charges of felony DUI causing great bodily injury, which could become manslaughter if Jackie Simon doesn't pull through.

Gray refused a breathalyzer test at the scene, but a search warrant was secured for her blood test, and toxicology results will reveal what intoxicants she may have been under the influence of.