Sedan crashes into Panera Bread, mayor-elect helps in aftermath

A Cadillac crashed into Pane­ra Bread on Robert C. Dan­iel Jr. Parkway during lunchtime Wednesday, sending four people, including the driver, to hospitals.

Trooper 1st Class Ben Rollins, of the Georgia State Pa­trol, which is handling the accident, confirmed the number of victims but indicated that none of the injuries appeared life-threatening.

Still, it was a jarring experience for some inside the restaurant, whose patrons included Augusta mayor-elect Hardie Davis. Davis was eating lunch with four friends just feet away from where the car struck the building.

“It’s been some kind of day,” Davis said Wednesday evening. “There were five of us sitting there talking when this happened.”

Davis said he went outside the establishment and placed the vehicle - which was still in drive at the time - into park, before praising a member of his lunch party.

“Mike McCollum was the hero,” Davis said of his friend. “He was great, in helping the driver.”

Trooper Rollins said the female driver, who was not identified, was trying to park the sedan when she ran over the handicapped-parking sign instead and crashed into the front window of the business.

A relative of the driver said she was going to be fine but was being checked by doctors as a precaution. The relative did not identify herself.

Chronicle Staff Writer Susan McCord contributed to this story.

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