Dollar General customer "thanks the Good Lord" after witnessing - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dollar General customer "thanks the Good Lord" after witnessing car smash into store

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MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Englewood Police believe the driver who crashed through the Dollar General Store on Monday afternoon accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes.

A couple of customers were standing in line when the car came smashing through the front of the store, including a woman holding a baby.

According to the police report, the 57-year-old female driver was cited for reckless driving after her 1998 Honda Accord plowed through the front of the Dollar General store on Highway 411 in McMinn County.

Christy De Los Santos says she's counting her blessings because the car came to a stop just feet from her and her great-grandchild.

"What was going through my head was 'Don't fall, you've got the baby.' Luckily, I was able to stay on my feet," remembered De Los Santos.

She was holding her 9-month old great-grandson, Skylar, standing in line to buy baby food when the car came crashing through the front doors.

"There was a car right at the door, and like a split second later, the glass just went everywhere," said De Los Santos, adding that the car ran through shopping carts and a cash register.

Jackie Gunter, 74, was on his way out of the store when the crash happened.

"I was standing at the counter, just got through paying," he said.

The crash caused the front doors to fall on top of the man, leaving him with cuts on his arm.

Englewood Police Chief Gary Miller said the car's back bumper was nearly 10 feet inside of the store when officers arrived. There's a skid mark inside the store where the driver tried to stop, he said.

"More than likely, she did hit the gas instead of the brake," Miller said.

Englewood Police Department's investigation reveals that although the driver has a medical condition, it did not cause the crash.

"She was completely sober," said Miller.

On Tuesday, several customers stopped by to shop, only to find a "Closed" banner out front.

"I was just coming for a few items and to look around, but I'll come back a few days later," one customer said while turning around in the parking lot.

While repairs are under way at the Dollar General, De Los Santos considers herself lucky.

"We thanked the good Lord a lot yesterday," she said, still holding on to her great-grandson. "It could've been a lot worse."

Police are working on retrieving the store's surveillance video from the crash. The impact destroyed some of the store's electrical wiring.

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