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Car crashes into local boutique

Yesterday afternoon, a returning customer at Lena Ellen Boutique in Andalusia accidentally slipped her foot on the gas pedal causing her car to crash into the building and destroy most of the boutiques Christmas merchandise.

“It took out the front porch and the Christmas section,” Owner Jannah Jeffcoat said. “Right now, we are canceling our Christmas Open House until we can figure how long it is going to take us to fix everything.”

The boutique’s open house is the largest day of the year for the store, Jeffcoat said.

“Normally we do storewide discounts,” Jeffcoat said. “My sister and I stay up all night making treats, hot cider and hot chocolate. We usually have giveaways and door prizes all day. It’s sort of like a customer appreciation event. I am honestly heartbroken that we don’t get to do it this year. It is always the most fun day of the year and we always have a great sales day.”

Jeffcoat said now they are waiting on the insurance claim before they do any repairs.

“Once we get the claim from the insurance, we actually have a builder that will jump right on it,” Jeffcoat said. “We have damage all through the massage area, as well. There is more to repair than just what people can see. I honestly don’t know how long the repairs will take, but our builder is awesome. Whenever he heard about the accident, he came immediately and put beams in place to make sure nothing else would fall.”

None of the employees or customers were injured, but one of the employees, Lauren Greathouse, may have saved an elderly woman’s life.

“She was an older woman with a walker and she was standing by the door waiting on me to give her the phone,” Greathouse said. “She wasn’t looking and I glanced over and yelled at her that a car was coming. As soon as she walked over the Christmas tree flew right beside her.”

Though the Christmas Open House is canceled, the retail side of the store will remain open.