Car crashes, lodges inside building in central city

Friday, August 3, 2007 | 12:54 a.m. CDT; updated 6:14 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

UPDATE: This story has been updated to identify the driver, Joyce Williams, 60.

COLUMBIA-Mangled metal and pink fiberglass insulation were visible through the gaping hole left by a champagne Mercury Sable that crashed into a Mediacom office in central Columbia on Thursday evening.

Mediacom employees were inside the building, at 901 Wilkes Blvd. when they heard the crash and alerted police.

“There was a pretty good bang when she hit,” Mediacom technician Dale Horton said. “We didn’t know what it was until the girls at the front desk started yelling to call 9-1-1.”

Horton said employees helped the driver out of her vehicle and waited with her inside the building until help arrived. He said the woman was bleeding from the head and needed help getting out of the car.

Officers at the scene of the crash declined to release the woman’s name or to comment on her injuries. Columbia Police Sgt. Brian Richenberger later identified the driver as Joyce Williams, 60, of Columbia. A spokeswoman at Boone Hospital Center said Williams was treated there and released.

Columbia police Officer Janna Holt and Mediacom employees said the woman’s car was parked in Mediacom’s parking lot before the accident. Just in front of where they think she was parked, a cable anchoring a utility pole was pulled out of the ground. The scene suggested that she may have run into or over it, but police were unable to confirm that.

Though the car was wedged three feet into the southeast corner of the building, Columbia Fire Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said, at the scene, that he was not sure if the building sustained structural damage.

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