WICHITA — Tammy Hatley stopped to ask a doctor if he wanted a refill on his coffee before she continued to the front desk this morning.
It may have saved her life.
An elderly patient arriving for an appointment at Lakewood Chiropractic, 2434 N. Woodlawn, shortly before 10:30 a.m. hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, propelling her car through the wall and clear into the office.
"I stopped to ask my doctor if he wanted more coffee, and then 'Bam!' It was just a big explosion," said Hatley, a chiropractic assistant.
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"She took out the whole front desk area," Hatley said of the elderly driver. "Two more steps and it would have smashed me."
A receptionist behind the front counter was pushed back by a filing cabinet shoved forward by the crash, but was not seriously injured, Hatley said.
"It was very scary," she said. "I couldn't get through that area to see if she was OK. I just kept calling her name."
While there were patients in the waiting area at the time of the crash, Hatley said, none of them were sitting where the car came through.
The driver was not seriously hurt, authorities said.
Chiropractors were still treating patients because none of the treatment rooms were affected, Hatley said. Patients were using the back door, and the hole in the front of the building has already been boarded off.
The crash occurred on the 13th, and folks in the office were debating whether it was bad luck - because the crash happened at all - or good luck, because no one was seriously hurt.
"It was just scary," Hatley said, "because you just don't expect that."