KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – We’re hearing for the first time about those terrifying moments after a SUV smashed into a Knoxville salon, pinning a woman behind a sink.
It happened nearly two weeks ago at Salon Resolutions in Fountain City off Tazewell pike.
First responders say a SUV went into the salon, reversed and hit another parked SUV. A police report indicated the driver, 68-year-old Constance Mann, admitted to taking hydrocodone earlier that day.
Mann told police she thought she’d hit the brakes, but instead hit the gas pedal. She’s facing felony reckless endangerment charges.
Both owners of Salon Resolutions say the experience was traumatic and still haunts them. While they say they’ve forgiven Mann, there are some scars that will never be erased.
The door is boarded up at Salon Resolutions and red tape is hanging across the walkway, warning people not to cross.
“It’s scary,” said co-owner Deborah Hicks.
It’s not easy for Hicks or her business partner, Debra Tindell, to be at the vacated business complex.
“This building makes me sick to look at it. It really does,” said Tindell.
Everything happened so fast at the salon nearly two weeks ago.
Hicks saying she didn’t realize what happened at first.
“I was behind the shampoo area and my client, Brenda, she had went to the restroom. So, I was just standing back there waiting on her and all of a sudden, I didn’t see the car coming or anything, all I felt was just stuff coming back on my body. I mean, that was the scariest part of it all. I thought I may die. I really could die.”
Hicks says she remembers feeling trapped while everyone was screaming in the salon, “It was difficult. I’ve never even been in an ambulance before, so, it was very traumatic.”
The world changed for Tindell, “I’ve reflected a lot because I thought at first that my business partner had died. I looked at her chair and I about lost it. She’s like my sister.”
Both women say they’re processing what happened.
“I think because the shampoo bowl was mounted on our floor, it pulled the pipes and everything out of the wall, but I think because it was mounted it gave me a little bit of protection,” said Hicks.
“He [God] strategically placed each one of us in a spot that we would be as far away from that danger,” added Tindell.
Over the last few days, East Tennessee salons have been reaching out to Tindell and Hicks, offering them open chairs.
Both stylists saying they’ll be working side by side again at Styles, Etc. in Fountain City.
“It’s going to be tough but it’s my life and my clients are like my family, so are my coworkers,” said Hicks.
“It just touches my heart. It’s just incredible that everybody’s just been so kind,” added Tindell.
The owners say they’re expecting that their original salon will be repaired and the entire building complex will reopen, they’re just not sure on a timeline.
Hicks and Tindell hoping changes are made in the parking lot so that a similar crash can never happen again.