Six injured as car drives through store entrance

Saturday, December 18, 2010 | 6:25 p.m. CST; updated 12:16 a.m. CST, Sunday, December 19, 2010
Customers walk by the boarded-up J.C. Penney entrance on Saturday at Columbia Mall. A 71-year-old woman drove through the entrance Saturday afternoon after she lost control of her vehicle.

COLUMBIA — Six people suffered minor injuries at Columbia Mall on Saturday afternoon when a woman lost control of her car, and drove into an entrance for J.C. Penney.

The 71-year-old driver lost control of her Hyundai Accent because of a medical issue, according to Columbia Police Department spokeswoman Jill Wieneke.

The car drove into the east entrance of the store, injuring the driver and five mall patrons, Wieneke said. She said the driver was treated on scene and the five others were transported to a hospital.

The accident was reported to police at 2:22 p.m. and units were dispatched at 2:24 p.m., Wieneke said.

Additional details about the driver and those injured were not immediately available as the crash is still under investigation by the police traffic unit, Wieneke said.

Wieneke said the store was not evacuated, but the accident area was closed.


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Melanie Barnes December 18, 2010 | 9:24 p.m.

The mall should invest in steel bollards to place in front of entrances so this won't happen again.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 18, 2010 | 10:16 p.m.

Yes, because there is such a plethora of unauthorized mall entering in Columbia...

(Report Comment)
James Krewson December 19, 2010 | 12:29 a.m.

I am not sure any amount of forethought could have prevented what happened. Instead of an entrance at Penney's she could have very well ran off a bridge or into a crowded stadium. If she did indeed have a medical condition that caused this, perhaps she shouldn't have been driving in the first place.

(Report Comment)
Irving Washington December 19, 2010 | 9:50 p.m.

A medical condition. Thats a really polite way of saying "too d@mn old to drive".

(Report Comment)
Gerald Shelnutt December 20, 2010 | 6:46 a.m.

I am on the streets a lot Irving. I see younger drivers as much more dangerous than older ones.

(Report Comment)
Irving Washington December 20, 2010 | 8:59 a.m.

Gerald, those younger drivers suffer froma similar medical condition called TSTD Too Stupid To Drive. Before airbags and seatbelts the culling of the herd was a smoother, more straightforward process.

(Report Comment)
Chris Cady December 20, 2010 | 10:06 a.m.

Geez people, you have no idea what her medical problem was. She could have had a heart attack, stroke or some other completely unpredictable event.

We certainly can't just ban anyone over a certain age. I guarantee anybody who proposes that will have a skillet full of granny whupass pounded into their head. But even my elderly and fiercely independent mom says there should be more frequent testing and renewal for older people because their eyesight, reflexes and other faculties are likely to deteriorate with advancing age.

(Report Comment)
Chrissy King December 20, 2010 | 3:09 p.m.

I heard on the radio this morning that even though she suffered a medical issue, she did NOT go to the hospital to be checked out - so it couldn't be that serious!! Glad nobody was killed!

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 20, 2010 | 3:44 p.m.

Chrissy, maybe she was too shaken to go to the hospital? Maybe the EMTs checked her out at the scene and addressed the possible issue (insulin or medication)? Saying that someone's medical issue isn't serious when you don't know the details is a wee bit insensitive.

(Report Comment)
ryan fitzgerald December 20, 2010 | 5:42 p.m.

This is exactly why I hate old people and the media for that matter. These stories keep getting reported every single day, yet NOTHING IS GETTING DONE ABOUT THIS.. I hope the next old bat driving plows into a nursing home and takes them all out. Less tax dollars and natural selection at its best!

(Report Comment)
Irving Washington December 20, 2010 | 10:31 p.m.

Hey Ryan, if they're in a nursing home, then its a little late for "natural selection".

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 21, 2010 | 3:00 a.m.

ryan fitzgerald wrote:

"These stories keep getting reported every single day,"

No, they are actually quite rare. What you do see reported every day are accidents caused by drunk or distracted drivers, and typically they are middle aged or younger.

A lot of the elderly don't drive all that much. While all of us need to remember that autos are deadly weapons, the elderly are generally not the problem here.


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