According to police Capt. Leon Thomas, the driver of a white Buick was being followed down Battle Street by an 88-year-old woman driving a green Buick. The green vehicle struck the white vehicle on Battle Street, where it spun off the road into the parking lot of 1 Hour Cleaners. The green car continued in a more straight line, striking a silver Buick parked in front of the cleaners. The third Buick belonged to an employee and was unoccupied at the time of the accident. The accident occurred just after 1:30 p.m.
The green car went through the front of the building, where it struck a four inch or six inch riser for the sprinkler system. Since the shut-off valve was underneath the car, the dry cleaners flooded fairly quickly, and water began spreading into the other stores in the strip mall. By the time the car was removed and the water was cut off, there was four inches of standing water in the cleaners, the floor of Karma Tattoo next door was covered, and the water was working its way into York Wireless. Water service on Battle Street was still shut off as of about 4:30 p.m.
The driver of the green car was airlifted to University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital by LifeSaver helicopter with injuries to her face and head, Thomas said. The driver of the white car was transported to the emergency room of Citizens Baptist Medical Center in Talladega via private vehicle after complaining of neck pain.
Assistant Fire Chief Mark McKleroy said since the water was coming from the fire suppression system, there was no need to be concerned about any of the chemicals used in the dry-cleaning process leaking out.
In addition to Talladega police and firefighters, NorthStar Paramedics and employees of the Water and Sewer Department also responded to the accident. One water and sewer employee appears to have been injured in the effort to get the water turned off, but the exact nature of the injury was unclear Tuesday afternoon.
Contact Chris Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org