Published: Oct 03, 2010 1:35 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 02, 2010 8:43 PM EDT

A bizarre accident downtown sends a woman to the hospital and spreads a path of damage through downtown Fort Myers.

The driver says her brakes went out suddently and she couldn't stop. Bystanders watched as her van hit a light pole, then a building.  

Carla Hill turned out of her apartment parking lot and it didn't take long to notice her breaks weren't working.

"I was honking the horn, pulling the emergency brake, trying to find the brakes anywhere I could," she said.

Hill and her two friends were frantic as the van sped up. They had to run two red lights, swerving around pedestrians and cars, wondering when and how they would stop.

"I knew I had to pick something to hit. I tried to hit the stop sign with the barricade but that didnt stop it. The van was going faster and faster," said Hill.

Hill knew she was running out of time. She slammed into a lightpole, a building, a bench, and finally a palm tree stopped the terrifying trip.

I heard a loud crash, women screaming, and called my phone to call the police department," said witness Stephen Parkinson.

One of Hill's passengers went to the hospital with back pain. The other two women got away with scratches and bruises. But they know it could have been much worse.