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Driver identified in weekend crash into J.C. Penney

Monday, December 20, 2010 | 6:20 p.m. CST; updated 4:43 p.m. CST, Tuesday, December 21, 2010

*Six mall patrons were injured when the car driven by Marilyn Z. Martin went through an entrance at J.C. Penney. A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the number of patrons who were injured.

COLUMBIA — The driver of the car that crashed into an entrance of the J.C. Penney store at Columbia Mall on Saturday has been identified as Marilyn Z. Martin, 71, of Columbia.

Martin suffered a "diabetic problem" just before the crash, The Associated Press reported, quoting Jill Weineke of the Columbia Police Department.

Martin and *six mall patrons were injured when she drove her car through the glass entrance. The driver was treated at the scene.

Taken to the hospital and listed with minor injuries were Azure Stevens, 18, of Columbia and Michael D. Eriks, 26, of Illinois. Additionally, two children, ages 4 and 5, were taken to the hospital, as were two 17-year-old juveniles, all of Columbia. They were treated for minor injuries.

Xuemei Sun, 33, of Columbia was also involved in the accident, but the extent of her injuries was unknown.

A portion of the east entrance remained open Monday while the damaged section was covered with plywood. Inside, it appeared to be business as usual during the busy holiday season.

Lines of customers queued up in front of cash registers, some near tire tracks that still marked the carpet where the Martin's 2008 Hyundai Accent stopped. 

Outside, pink spray paint traced the path on the walkway where the car veered through the entrance of the store at 2:22 p.m. Saturday.

Inside, the police department's traffic investigation unit used painter's tape to mark the accident, a measure taken to protect the interior, Wieneke said.

The mall's senior general manager, Rusty Strodtman, was away from the office Monday afternoon and could not be reached for information about plans to repair the damage.

In June, Martin caused an accident when she made an illegal U-turn on a divided highway, according to Boone County court records. She was charged with a misdemeanor and fined $100.


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