Car runs into grocery store during police chase

Published 12:11 am Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sybil’s Cottage Grocery owner Robert Magee picks up materials in his store Wednesday morning left behind from a car crashing through the store. Magee was told by law enforcement officials that the driver was fleeing from police before crashing into the store. (Rod Guajardo / The Natchez Democrat)

Sybil’s Cottage Grocery owner Robert Magee picks up materials in his store Wednesday morning left behind from a car crashing through the store. Magee was told by law enforcement officials that the driver was fleeing from police before crashing into the store. (Rod Guajardo / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ Cleaning up the mess left behind from a car crashing through his store wasn’t exactly how Robert Magee planned to spend Christmas Eve.

But the owner of Sybil’s Cottage Grocery found himself cleaning up Wednesday morning after awaking to the sounds of a police chase on a police scanner at his home.

“They were screaming on there about them chasing some guy and that woke me up,” said Magee, who took over ownership of the Morgantown grocery store last year. “I heard them say something about needing to call the owner of Sybil’s Cottage Grocery store, and I woke my wife up and told her something must have happened to the store.”

Minutes later, Magee arrived at his store to find a Dodge Charger halfway through his front door.

Adams County Sheriff’s Office officials told Magee that a Natchez man was fleeing from the deputies on Morgantown Road and attempted to make a left turn on Booker Road, but ended up overshooting the turn and crashing into the grocery store.

The car, which missed the store’s two gas pumps by mere inches, crashed through a support beam that held up an awning outside the store before going through the front door.

Magee said the damage was devastating.

“These are some serious damages,” said Magee, pointing to a crack in the ceiling that started at the front door and went to the middle of the store. “I just don’t know how we’re going to get through this.”

Magee said the timing of the incident couldn’t have been worse for his family and for any chance of getting repairs done quickly.

“This definitely wasn’t what I had in mind for Christmas,” Magee said. “It’s going to be at least after the first of the year before we can get insurance people out here and start fixing everything up.”

Until then, Magee will board up the store and wait for the next steps to begin.

“Just thinking that all this happened because someone was running from the law is a shame,” Magee said. “It’s just very sad.”

Sheriff Chuck Mayfield did not return phone messages Wednesday to comment on the incident.