Eyewitness recounts car crashing through college entry

June 20, 2013 Latest Print Print
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A beautiful Thursday morning turned into a frightening experience for one student employee when a car driven by business major David Ratliff, 24, crashed through OCCC’s main entrance just after 8 a.m. Thursday, June 20.

Student employee Eunice Luna said she was working at the Welcome Desk when the crash occurred.

“I was sitting here with my co-worker and we were just talking about how it was going to be a boring day,” she said. “Then, all of the sudden, we heard and we saw the car coming in.”

Luna said she heard glass shattering.

“As soon as I turned around, it was right there in the middle,” she said. “It was a big shock to me.”

Luna said Ratliff remained in his car, a silver Ford Mustang convertable, until campus police arrived to help him get out.

“He looked perfectly fine,” she said. “He wasn’t happy, he wasn’t sad, he wasn’t mad. He seemed calm.”

Luna said she overheard the driver saying he had blacked out.

“When I went to go give my [statement], they asked him if he had been drunk and he said he [was] sober,” she said.

Desirae Peyton, a student ambassador, also was present at the time of the accident.

Peyton said she heard the car crash into the building just as she had walked away from the Welcome Center toward the Admissions desk.

“I had just left the Welcome Center so my back was to it,” Peyton said. “I thought it was a bomb because I didn’t physically see it but when I turned around, I realized it was a car.

“It was really loud,” Peyton said. “It was just kind of shocking, just really shocking to see a car drive through [the main entrance].”

Peyton said fortunately, Thursday is the one day of the week the Admissions department does not open until 11:30 a.m.

“It just happened to be there wasn’t any people around it,” she said.

College officials say Ratliff was taken from the scene in an ambulance. The cause of the accident has not yet been officially given.

The Pioneer will give updates as we receive them.

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