POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Rescue crews took several people to the hospital after, officials said, a car plowed through the back of a Salvation Army store in Pompano Beach.
Broward Sheriff’s Office and Pompano Beach Fire Rescue responded to the scene at the Salvation Army located at 451 East Copans Road, at around 1:30 p.m., Wednesday.
7SkyForce HD flew over the scene where the car left a huge hole in the wall, which has since been patched up with plywood.
The car struck fitting rooms located toward the back of the store.
“All of a sudden, I heard a crash, and within a half a second or so, I was on my back real quick, trying to get out of the bricks,” said witness Jeff Mead.
Mead, who was in one of the fitting rooms, took pictures of the damage inside the store.
“I just went to get an emergency pair of shorts. That’s it,” he said.
Mead said he was inside one of the fitting rooms when he heard a loud crash.
“I’m in the third or fourth dressing room, and the bricks are what popped my foot,” he said, “so the bricks went 10 or 12 feet. The whole wall went in.”
Several of those bricks landed on Mead’s right foot.
“I come out fast, and the lady who let me in was crying about her back, so I wanted to get her out and get her on the couch,” he said, “and I didn’t see all the other people until after … Then I see another lady was cut all over. She had a lot of cuts. She probably got hit with a lot of bricks.”
According to BSO, six people were injured, including the male driver. Paramedics transported several of them to Broward Health North.
Officials said the driver stayed on the scene and cooperated with authorities.
“After I helped the lady out, I asked if the driver was OK, and they said, ‘Yeah, he’s already out of his car. He was fine,'” said Mead.
According to firefighters, one of the victims was transported as a trauma patient with a head injury, while the others sustained injuries deemed not life-threatening.
As for Mead, he also suffered a bump in the head.
“I got the top right here starting to grow on my head,” he said as he showed 7News the bump. “It’s not bad, you know. That’s why I’m not crying.”
He said he decided not to go to the hospital.
“You know, everybody thinks that I should have gone to the hospital and all this, but I felt OK,” he said. “I felt like I got sucker punched.”
Mead said it all happened within seconds.
“I’m real thankful, ’cause I was bending over, like I said, in a bad position, and the wall came this way at me,” he said, “so I got crunched back and fell down, and I was just glad my neck wasn’t broken, too.”
Wednesday evening, 7News cameras captured the spot where the car struck the store covered with plywood sheets.
The store is normally open until 8 p.m., but the crash caused the business to close early so employees could clean up and board up the hole. An employee said they hope they will be able to reopen on Thursday.
BSO is investigating the cause of the crash.
Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.