Driver sent to hospital after car goes through business

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

VIDALIA &045; The squealing tires and clear view gave those in and around Car Quest Auto Parts store just enough time to get to safety, but the collision through glass, brick and metal Tuesday afternoon sent the vehicle’s driver to the hospital.

Carolyn Marvel of Natchez was driving toward the bridge on Carter Street just before 4 p.m. when her car crossed the oncoming lane of traffic and crashed into the storefront, witnesses said.

She was taken by ambulance to Riverland Medical Center.

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The car was completely inside the building surrounded by broken glass and car care items before the tires stopped spinning, Car Quest employee Jimmy Temple said.

Temple was in the store with one other person when he saw the older model Ford headed his way.

Temple said he had just enough time to tell the other man to get behind the counter.

&uot;I was looking that way when it hit,&uot; Temple said while the tow truck removed the car from his business. &uot;It was coming fast. If there had been somebody walking around in there, I’m sure they’d have been killed.&uot;

The car pushed several rows of merchandise further into the store and left bottled chemicals scattered around the building.

The Vidalia Fire Department was on the scene and stood ready in case problems occurred.

Temple said once the car came to a stop he tried to get to the driver, but the car doors were locked and it appeared her foot was still on the accelerator.

J.B. Temple, who owns the building and leases it to Car Quest, said he was next door when he heard the wheels squealing and saw the collision.

&uot;I don’t know what happened,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m going to wait and try to find out how she’s doing. I’m not concerned about the building. I hate that it happened for her.&uot;

J.B. Temple said the business would be shut down for an indefinite amount of time.

The entire front glass window was shattered, the front door was torn from its hinges and the bricks holding the glass were cracked.

After a tow truck removed the car about 30 minutes after the accident, Car Quest employees began cleaning what they could. The storefront was boarded up by 8 p.m.

The building was struck by a vehicle several years ago but not damaged to this degree, J.B. Temple said.

A small dog was also in the car with Marvel at the time of the accident. Police officers removed the dog, which appeared unharmed, and placed it in a patrol car.

No one else was in the car, and no one else was injured.

Police Chief Billy Hammers said Tuesday afternoon he did not yet know any suspected causes of the accident and had not heard a condition report on the driver.