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Car smashes into Georgia Power lobby

Jonesboro police officers motion to another officer that it's OK to back a car out of the lobby of the Georgia Power office on Smith Street in Jonesboro Thursday. An elderly man drove the vehicle into the lobby at 1:53 p.m. and barely missed a 2-year old girl.

Jonesboro police officers motion to another officer that it's OK to back a car out of the lobby of the Georgia Power office on Smith Street in Jonesboro Thursday. An elderly man drove the vehicle into the lobby at 1:53 p.m. and barely missed a 2-year old girl.

— Ruby Morris had just stepped out of line at the Georgia Power office in Jonesboro Thursday when a beige Mercury Grand Marquis crashed through the lobby.

She was shaking as she recalled how Jonesboro resident Walter Scott Griffin, who is about 86, drove his car through a glass wall at the office at the corner of Smith and Lee Streets. She said the car came to rest just two feet from a wall on the opposite side of the nearly 40-feet long lobby. She said she was walking to a teller’s window when she heard a “boom” behind her.

“It was just a terrifying situation,” said Morris. “It felt like a jet had hit the building.”

Jonesboro police Lt. Tony Lumpkin said Griffin drove his car into the lobby at 1:53 p.m., and narrowly avoided hitting a 2-year-old girl who was standing in the lobby with her mother. The child was taken an area hospital but was unharmed, said Lumpkin. There were no injuries to Griffin, who had a handicapped tag on his car, or anyone else standing in the lobby at the time.

“Driver stated that his foot slipped off the brake and hit the accelerator and just swung by the juvenile,” said Lumpkin.

Officer Mark Chapman said charges are pending. Jonesboro police drove Griffin home while his car was towed away. The side mirrors on the vehicle were broken.

“I’m not going to let him leave here unless he’s the passenger in somebody else’s car,” said Lumpkin.

Georgia Power customers were allowed to drop their bill payments in a night deposit box but employees told them bills were not being processed for the remainder of the day. It is unclear when the office is expected to reopen.