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Dollar General cashier seriously injured after car crashes into store

Driver charged with DUI

Posted: March 5, 2014 - 1:07am
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A cashier suffered a badly broken leg when a car crashed through the front doors of the Dollar General.  Photo By Valerie Rowell
Photo By Valerie Rowell
A cashier suffered a badly broken leg when a car crashed through the front doors of the Dollar General.

A Martinez woman was charged Saturday after crashing her car into a Dollar General store and seriously injuring the cashier.

Police say Roshana Lequisha Payne, 37, of New Petersburg Drive, had been drinking when she drove her car through the front doors of the store at 210 Baston Road just after 7 p.m. Saturday. She registered a .12 blood alcohol level a the scene, according to authorities.

Payne was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving and open container.

The cashier, Michelle Lee Phillips, 38, of Martinez, and two customers in the store were injured.

Payne’s car was backed into a parking space directly across the small parking lot from the front doors of the store, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office accident report. Payne accidentally put the car in first gear and accelerated toward the store.

“The cashier suffered the most serious injuries,” Lovett said. “The crash took out the register, and the cashier’s leg was hurt pretty badly.”

Witnesses told police that Payne simply drover her 2011 Volkswagon Jetta into the store.

“I was walking back toward the store when I heard everything happen,” witness Angela Lozano said.

“The driver didn’t try to stop or anything. She barely missed a guy standing in front of the door, and then she crashed right through the glass.”

The Volkswagen Jetta directly hit the cashier’s station where Phillips was working, Lozano said.

“The cashier was pinned underneath the car,” she said. “We thought about trying to get her out, but her leg was bleeding pretty badly, so we didn’t want to risk making it worse.”

After the crash, the driver exited the store, Lozano said.

“It looked like she was trying to leave the scene,” she said. “But people outside stopped her and made sure she stayed.”

Phillips and two customers – Laura Ann Gilmore, 32, of Louisville, Ga., and Jeanette Tillman, 36, of Martinez – were taken to the Georgia Regents Medical Center. Gilmore and Tillman were treated and released.

Phillips remained in fair condition on Monday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Payne was released from the Columbia County Detention Center Sunday evening after posting a $3,300 bond, according to jailers.

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