Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- It'll be a trip to Verizon Wireless Cheryl Toothe of Trenton won't soon forget.
"I came to trade in my phone to upgrade to a different phone and really didn't expect all the excitement,” she told News 12.
Around 12:50 Wednesday afternoon, she was only feet away from an explosion of glass and metal.
"I heard someone yell, 'Oh my God!' and everyone just sort of turned towards the window, and then all of a sudden, this car came through,” Toothe said.
The aftermath was a blue Chevrolet Malibu parked inside the store, across from the Whiskey Road Walmart, almost comically. Shards of glass covered the entrance like fallen icicles.
"I mean it looked like a war zone in there,” Toothe said.
The Aiken Department of Public Safety responded to find no injuries but dozens of lucky people, including the older female driver.
"Driver was pulling into a parking space in front of this retail store, said that her foot slipped off the brake on to the accelerator, and she went over the curb through the plate glass window,” said Sgt. Jake Mahoney.
The driver was transported to Aiken Regional Medical Centers as a precautionary measure, but Toothe, a complete stranger, stayed around to make sure she was all right.
"You know, Jesus says what you do to these my brethren, you've done to me, so I had to step in and do something,” she said.
At the end of the day, she's left with an unforgettable story, and it’s one that she and others survived to tell.
"Oh yeah, I'm going to call my children as soon as I get in the car, but unfortunately, I didn't know how to use my new phone enough to get a picture of it, but I think I'll remember it for a while,” Toothe said.
Workers were able to clean up the glass and metal and put up plywood temporarily. The store will reopen at 10 a.m. on Thursday, according to the store manager.