One woman was seriously injured in a violent accident in which she slammed her car into DJ’s Doughnuts building in the 3400 block of Mississippi Avenue.
Police did not provide her condition at the scene. However, the St. Clair County coroner was called.
The mangled gray Hyundai Sonata slammed into the building, causing a huge hole in the building at 11:41 a.m. Sunday. There was visible damage from front to back, on the rooftop and both sides of the Sonata.
Witnesses at the scene said a woman was driving the car. They said they saw it flip over before striking the building. It even struck a couple of trash cans that were nearby. At least two baby car seats were on the ground and trash and debris of every kind were strewn across the parking lot.
Donald Mackanson from Mackanson Towing, which is just across the street from the accident scene, said he was inside his business when he heard a loud boom.
“As soon as I saw what happened, I called 911,” Mackanson said. “I ran over and I saw the car was upside down and into the building. I ran up to it. I saw up close. I saw two baby seats and immediately, I wanted to make sure the babies didn’t get thrown out of the vehicle.”
Mackanson said he ran to a nearby ditch to check whether any babies were there. He said he felt a faint pulse on the victim and her lips were blue.
Mackanson said he overheard a lady telling the police that the female driver of the SUV was on her cellphone.
Everyone at the scene described it as being tragic and they said they were praying for the driver as well as her family.
Denierika Lewis said she was walking to the store when she heard the loud boom from the impact of the SUV slamming into the building. “The car flipped over. We saw her body folded up and she appeared to have a serious injury to her head. I saw diapers and car seats. We were all praying for her (the driver of the SUV). The police tried to put us out. We were just concerned because the lady looked lifeless. It was just messed up. We hope she will be OK,” Lewis said.
Lewis, in talking about how fast the SUV was traveling, said, “She was doing a lot over the speed limit and was trying to dodge a car and hit the doughnut shop.”
The owner of the shop could not be located. People who frequented the business said it had been closed for a couple of months.
Other witnesses at the scene also said the woman was on her cellphone. Jimmy Johnson said his cousin was driving a BMW that was in front of the female driver. He said his cousin told him that car was doing way over the speed limit and the driver was on her cellphone. “She swerved to avoid hitting his car and flipped over and hit the building,” Johnson said. The loud noise from the crash drew a small crowd and drivers on Illinois 3 slowed to look over at what had attracted all of the emergency crews.
“The police tried to cover it up so we couldn’t see it. But, we saw one of them drag her out of the vehicle by one arm and we could see she was seriously injured,” Johnson said.