Joey Kelly says it’s a miracle that more people weren’t hurt when a van crashed into the Pye Nissan parking lot on East Walnut Avenue in Dalton Tuesday afternoon.
“We had people out there looking at cars and putting stickers on cars,” said Kelly, executive manager of Pye Nissan. “One gentleman, when he heard the collision on Walnut Avenue, ran out of the way, and the van struck right where he’d been standing.”
The wreck happened just after 2 p.m.
“The best we can tell, an elderly gentleman pulled out of the road between Parker’s Restaurant and the Hyundai store into Walnut Avenue,” Kelly said. “He apparently didn’t look when he pulled into Walnut and a Pacifica driving eastbound hit him. The young lady driving the Pacifica tried to avoid him, but it tore the whole front of her car off.”
Kelly said the Pacifica slid across Walnut into the front of the Pye parking lot while the van continued to speed across Walnut.
“He came through our driveway and hit five of our cars, knocking them into each other. Evidently, he didn’t have his foot on the brake, and the cars just piled up until it brought him to a stop,” Kelly said. “We have five brand new Nissans he hit, and just from looking at them, I’d say at least two of them were totaled.”
Kelly said he didn’t have an estimate on how much damage was caused. He said the driver of the van was the only person injured.
“It’s a miracle no one else was hurt, and it was a miracle neither one of the cars hit somebody driving westbound,” he said.
Kelly said that if the cars had not been in the way he believes the van would have run right through the dealership’s building.
“From Airport Road to the Bypass, this is a dangerous piece of road. You have people driving 50 mph and other people pulling out into that. I’m surprised we don’t see this more often,” he said.
A report on the wreck from the Georgia State Patrol was not immediately available Tuesday afternoon.