[Masthead] Partly Cloudy ~ 87°F  
High: 92°F ~ Low: 68°F
Friday, July 11, 2014

Driver attempts to flee wreck -- backwards

Thursday, January 24, 2013

(Photo)
Patty Whitaker's smashed car rests against a destroyed utility pole on Madison Street. The other side of the pole was smashed about halfway up.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
Witnesses were horrified to see a car speeding - backwards -- for a long distance on Madison Street shortly before noon Wednesday.

The driver was attemptimg to flee after striking the rear of a truck, Shelbyville police said.

Patty Whitaker of South Brittain Street was treated at Heritage Medical Center, officer David Curley said.

"Our investigation shows she appeared to have been drinking," Curley said.

Whitaker struck the rear of a truck driven by Shawn Hornberger, Highway 64 East, at the Madison Street-Hillcrest Drive intersection, then sped backwards at a high rate of speed before slamming a utility pole, Curley said.

(Photo)
The trail of damage left by Whitaker's car includes a sign post at Shelbyville Carpet Co. Utility trucks at rear are near the car's stopping point.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
"We thought it was stuck in reverse," said Michelle Armstrong, an employee of Harley's Drive-Thru Market, who watched the car's trek from the store's parking lot.

"It almost hit the pumps, did hit the Shelbyville Carpet sign, went out on the road, went back around...it was crazy."

Another witness, who asked not to be identified, said the car's speed was so high it seemed as if the driver had floorboarded the gas pedal.

The car roared into and almost snapped a utility pole, still in reverse. The witness watched as Whitker's hit struck the windshield and she fell backwards into the rear seat.

Police said Whitaker was complaining of neck and back pain.