BY THE COLUMBUS PACKET
An elderly Millport, Ala. woman spent Tuesday night in a Columbus hospital after her husband accidentally backed into her — and the entrance to a local antique mall. Phoebe Robinson, 69, is recovering from severe wounds on both of her hands and one foot after her husband, 70-year old James Robinson, accidentally backed into her and forced her into one of two plate glass doors at the entrance of the Magnolia Antique Mall on Highway 182 in East Columbus.
John Fitzgerald, who operates the mall, said Mrs. Robinson had just picked out a refinished wooden counter/sideboard around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and had exited the store to get the money for it when the accident occurred.
“I was just starting to write up the ticket and I saw the truck moving spots to get in front of the door, and she was standing right there, he just kept coming back and back and back,” Fitzgerald said.
Ricky Newell, who also works at the mall and was preparing the piece to be loaded, said Mrs. Robinson was hit by the truck and almost got pinned between the Ford Explorer pickup and the pair of glass doors.
“She managed to slip away just before the bed of the truck came crashing through,” Newell said.
Mrs Robinson suffered deep cuts to her left hand and foot as she tried to dodge the Ford, and she lost a good deal of blood due to the cuts. Fitzgerald and Newell said that even after the initial impact shattered the doorway and threw glass everywhere, James Robinson was still stepping on the gas. Tire marks could be seen on the tile floor nearly three feet inside of the store.
“If the truck hadn’t gotten stuck in the doorway, I do believe it would have come all the way in here and run us both over” Fitzgerald said.
Columbus Fire and Rescue and paramedics from Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle arrived on scene within minutes and tended to her wounds. She was treated for the lacerations late Tuesday evening and was expected to be released from the hospital sometime Wednesday.
Fitzgerald said that the damage to the doorway was not know as of yet, but the merchandise, including at least one bed, an antique bureau and a marble top table, likely exceeded $1000.
“It doesn’t matter, that stuff doesn’t matter,” Fitzgerald said. All I’m worried about is that young lady and how she’s doing. I could hardly sleep last night. I can’t tell you how glad I am to hear she’s gonna be alright.”
James Robinson was allowed to drive home after the accident, but returned to the scene later that evening to apologize and see if he needed to pick up the furniture his wife was buying. Sources said that he was usually not supposed to be driving due to a medical condition. A spokesperson for the Columbus Police Department said that no charges will be filed in the incident.