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4 injured after car crashes into dealership showroom

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  An accident around 10:45 a.m., yesterday, sent this Cadillac through the window of Wilson County Motors Chevrolet-Buick at 1310 West Main Street at South Hartmann Drive in Lebanon. The incident  injured  four salesmen, sending one to a Nashville hospital by LifeFlight.  Lebanon Police Office Steve Green said the driver’s foot became stuck between the gas and brake pedals sending the car through the window

TOMMY BRYAN / The Wilson Post

By JENNIFER HORTONThe Wilson Post

An accident caused by a driver’s foot becoming stuck between the accelerator and the brake ped

al of car sending it through the window of local car dealership injured four salesmen, sending one to a Nashville hospital by LifeFlight on Thursday.

The incident happened at Wilson County Motors Chevrolet-Buick at 1310 West Main Street at South Hartmann Drive in Lebanon about 10:45 a.m., yesterday.

Lebanon Police Office Steve Green said a 1995 Cadillac driven by a man, 90, of Carthage, had been at the dealership for service on the vehicle. When the work was done, the man and his wife,

 

 also 90, got back the car to leave.

The man’s car was parked in front of the dealership. He turned his tires to the left and backed up, stopped, and then put the car in drive to leave. Green said a witness reported hearing the engine rev up and somehow the driver’s foot became stuck between the gas pedal and the brake pedal and “it just shot him forward.”

The car went over the concrete parking bumpers and through the large windows in the corner of the dealership showroom striking some sales desks that were in front of the front window.

The impact sent shards of glass flying and also resulted in injuries to four salesmen. Green said Beau Leslie, of the salesmen, suffered some head injuries and emergency personnel with Wilson Emergency Management Agency decided to have him transported by LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

Green and W.P. Bone, managing partner of Wilson County Motors, said they did not believe Leslie’s injuries were life threatening. The officer said he was taken by LifeFlight more as a precaution, and Bone noted Leslie was undergoing tests and would likely be released later yesterday or today.

Also injured were salesmen Carl Groll of Mt. Juliet, Johnny Johnston of Dallas, Texas, and Shannon Williams of Hermitage. They sustained cuts and bruises.

The couple sustained minor injuries. They did wear their seat belts, the officer noted.

“Significant damage was done to Wilson County Motors,” Green said, adding dealership officials were working to put together a list of all the damage caused.

“It could have been a whole lot worse,” Green said.Bone noted that the dealership has a big sale going on right now and that there were 15-20 people inside the showroom when the incident occurred. Fortunately, none of them were standing near the window, which had been decorated for Christmas, and where the Christmas tree stood.

Bone said he was glad the salesmen were not more seriously injured and that the couple was going to be alright, as well. “As long as everyone is OK, we’re OK.”

The couple was shaken up. “They stayed here a good while,” Bone said, while Green talked to them. They seemed calmer after awhile and said they hated the accident happened.

“They’re that kind of people,” Bone said.

Plastic sheeting had been placed over where the windows were by yesterday afternoon as the cleanup progressed.

This was not the first such incident to occur at the dealership, Bone said, noting that one of the company’s partners drove through a showroom window many years ago in one incident, and the same thing also happened when a salesman was showing a car to lady who was interested in purchasing one. No one was hurt in either of those incidents.

Green said that no citations were issued and that the incident was simply an accident.

(The Wilson Post decided not to include the names of the Carthage couple since no citations were issued or charges filed.)

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at news@wilsonpost.com.

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