by Eric Stearley
Just after 7 a.m. Friday morning, the Wabash Donut Shoppe got an unwelcomed surprise as Bruce Weatherspoon, 61, Marion, drove his black Chevrolet Trailblazer into the business’ front wall injuring owner Andy Phat.
“I just heard a loud bang and crash,” said Sam Phat, the owner’s son. “I thought that maybe the cooler fell down or something like that, because I heard glass. I saw my dad laying down on the ground, maybe 8 to 10 feet away from the wall. The trash can was knocked down in front of the showcase and I saw that the wall was broken down.”
Sam said that just seconds before the accident, Andy had walked in front of the building and entered through the main door.
“He saved himself from death by five seconds,” said Sam. “If he had been standing in that spot where he walked across the front, where the car hit the wall and came inside…that wall saved his life.”
Weatherspoon told police that he was pulling into the Donut Shoppe when he attempted to apply his brakes and park. He said he heard the engine accelerate and the vehicle would not stop, which resulted in the vehicle colliding with the west wall of the building. Andy, who has owned the business for 28 years, was on the other side of the wall.
“He was standing right at the window,” said Sam. “The booths and chairs and tables came flying right at him. He got knocked down and hit his head on the ground, and he hit is leg and hip pretty bad on the right side. It’s all swollen right now, but they said there’s no broken bones or anything like that.”
Andy said that he had a few words with Mr. Weatherspoon through the closed front door, but was unable to go outside to talk to him, as the collision had jammed the door shut.
Roger Davis, owner of Competitive Construction, is a contractor for the Wabash Donut Shoppe, currently working on construction of the business’ Warsaw location. He drove by the Wabash location just after the accident and saw the police cars.
“I turned around and came back when I realized what had happened,” said Davis. “It was quite shocking to see. It did some pretty serious damage. It mainly just hit the wall. The structure up top is still good.”
After bracing the roof and clearing debris, Roger and his crew had a new wall up by the end of the day.
“Bad start to the morning,” said Sam. “I walk by there all the time. I see cars pull up and I never once thought a car was actually going to jump up over the curb and run me over, you know? I do it all the time. My family has owned the business for 28 years, so I did it as a little kid and everything.”
Though the lobby was closed for the remainder of the day, business continued as people ordered at the drive-thru window, both in vehicles and on foot.