Woman's shock as car hits pub wall
AN American visitor has spoken about the moment she "thought she was going to die" when a car crashed into the patio wall of an Exmouth seafront pub.
Jamie Gill, 20, was sitting with her dog outside the Bath House pub when she saw the car coming towards her.
She said it then swerved onto the other side of the road before crashing into the wall where a man had been sitting just minutes before.
The impact of the smash has been described like an "explosion" by eye witnesses who said bits of the wall went "flying everywhere".
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Jamie was taken to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital where she was treated for a bruised spine having been struck by debris. Police officers are investigating the incident which happened at about 9.45pm on Wednesday, September 5.
Fire and ambulance crews also attended the scene and the driver of the car was taken to hospital.
"I thought I was going to die or be seriously hurt," Jamie recalled. "There was a man sitting on the wall which he crashed into just minutes before so he could have been killed.
"He came up to me afterwards and said how lucky we'd both been.
"I saw the driver come round the bollards in the middle of the road and it looked like he was trying to control the car.
"The first thing I tried to do was get my dog out of the way. I could hear him skidding and when he hit the wall it was like an explosion.
"I ducked and tried to cover my head because of the debris coming towards me. But a metal board smacked me on the back of my shoulders."
Because Jamie is an American citizen she will have to pay for all the medical bills. She was due to fly back to Indiana a few days later so her last few days with her husband were ruined because of her injuries.
"People need to think before they take action and think about the consequences, not just for themselves but for others too," she added.
Sam Johnson, acting manager of the venue said pieces of the wall "flew everywhere" and expressed his relief that no one was seriously hurt.
"We were very lucky," said the 29-year-old. "We heard a loud bang and rushed outside and just saw the wall everywhere and the car up on the pavement.
"Luckily there were only a few tables of people out there – had it been half-and-hour earlier it would have been a very different story. Even if someone had been entering or leaving the pub at that time things could have been a lot worse."
Sam said a group of male customers including a medic assisted with the female casualty.
"The wall was obliterated," continued Sam. "And when we watched CCTV footage back it looks like an explosion. Debris flew off in all directions and made holes in the decking. Anyone could have been in the way and if they were, they wouldn't have stood a chance."