Joanna Jacobs was inside the Phillips 66 convenience store at 101 E. Nifong Blvd. paying for a tank of gas Monday afternoon when she saw her Ford Crown Victoria coming straight toward the building.
The car, driven by her friend Janice Hooker, jumped a curb and ripped through the two front doors of the gas station. The car slammed into shelves full of snacks before crashing into the soda fountain on the back wall.
Jacobs was just inside the door of the station and suffered a minor scratch on the back of her leg. Hooker went to University Hospital with minor injuries. Nobody else was hurt.
While Jacobs was inside the store, Hooker climbed into the driver’s seat of the car to move it closer to the front door. She accelerated and was unable to stop.
Jacobs said she left her purse on the floor of the driver’s side and thinks that it was blocking the brake.
“I saw (the car) coming and I had that long to get out of the way,” Jacobs said as she snapped her fingers. “Then I just heard a loud crash.”
Emergency crews reported immediately to the scene. Firefighters stood outside the doors with a fire hose in case of an explosion while inside the gas station’s tile floor was littered with shards of glass, chips, candy and leaking cans of Red Bull that coated the floor.
The car was pulled from the building. Its windshield was shattered and the headlights were broken.
The Columbia Police Department is still investigating.