A business owner narrowly escaped death when a car crashed through his store front Tuesday night, June 2, 2020. It happened at The Outdoorsman convenience store on Highway 225 in the Crossroads community. The dramatic scene was all caught on security cameras.
Joey Kobitz had just closed up for the night and was standing at the counter finishing up some work when the Ford Mustang crashed through the front of the store, coming to rest completely inside. There was little warning, Kobitz saying he heard a squeal of tires only a second before the impact. Surveillance footage from outside shows the car approaching the intersection of White House Fork Road (CR 40) and 225 at a high rate of speed. The car never slowed down for the stop sign and headed straight for the store.
“My first thoughts were the people in the car, but I had an employee that was actually siting right over there in a chair and he was waiting on his girlfriend to come pick him up from work,” Kobitz said. “I thought he was still out there because he didn’t tell me anything about leaving.”
The video shows the car narrowly missing Kobitz’s pickup and the fuel pumps. It smashed through two racks of propane tanks, sending them flying into the store without igniting them. The most incredible part of it all is that the driver, Kobitz and the employee who was out front just minutes before all escaped injury.
“The young man that was sitting out there had done went home, so we didn’t lose him. The young man in the car, that was driving…we didn’t lose him. I don’t even know if he had any scratches on him,” Kobitz recalled. “He kicked the door…the passenger door open and he got out, so that was another saved life and me. I was right there within six-seven foot of the rear end of the car.”
Kobitz carries a coin with Jesus’s name inscribed on it and he believes Jesus was watching out for everyone that night. The store’s back open and Troopers are investigating what caused the crash. Kobitz said the intersection is dangerous and that while this is the first time the building’s been hit since he’s been a tenant, the owner, Billy Thompson tells him it’s been struck several times over the years.
“People are coming down County Road 40. They’re not seeing the end of the intersection. It’s dark late at night,” Kobitz explained.
Kobitz said he’s asking the county and ALDOT to consider putting a caution and stop light at this intersection to keep something like this from happening again.