Woman critically injured when sign falls on car

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – During strong winds Thursday, a freak accident critically injured a woman in Greenwood, just as she was leaving a hair salon near Greenwood Park Mall.

Her car got crushed by a huge steel business sign, that suddenly fell in the parking lot, where cars enter and exit the strip mall.

On Madison Avenue Thursday afternoon, it was a horrific emergency that seriously injured a driver and caused multiple people to call 911.

“Oh my God,” one caller said, “we just had a really bad accident. A big sign fell over right on top of a car.”

“The wind pushed it over on top of the vehicle,” another caller described to dispatchers.

“Is somebody in that vehicle,” one dispatcher asked.

“Yes, definitely,” the caller said. “They were driving and just the timing was horrible.”

Manicurist Tammy Nightenhelser saw the whole thing, right outside her window at Design Lines salon.

A 30-foot tall steel sign, which had the names of all the businesses in that strip mall on it, was torn off its rusted posts in the wind Thursday.

It toppled onto a Mercury Marquis that was waiting to turn into traffic.

“It was just the loudest sound. I mean you just knew it was bad. Whatever it was, you knew it was bad,” Nightenhelser said. “It looked like something just fell out of the sky onto her car. Everybody was coming around trying to help. One man busted out the back window just to try to unlock the door because we couldn’t get to her. I tried to calm her down and I prayed with her. She just was so…she was so scared!”

That’s when Tammy discovered that inside the crushed car, was one of their clients.

64-year-old Kathy Velez had just gotten her hair done.

Now, she was struggling to breathe and unable to move her legs.

Karl Dahl, who’s done Kathy’s hair for 40 years, pulled out right behind her moments after the accident.

“She was my last appointment that afternoon,” Dahl explained. “She’s such a sweetheart. Easy-going, sense of humor, just a wonderful, wonderful gal, she really is.”


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