Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

One person rescued from car after St. Petersburg gas station canopy collapses

ST. PETERSBURG — Firefighters have rescued a woman who was trapped in her vehicle after a gas station canopy was blown free by Tuesday evening's thundershowers and heavy winds.

She was taken to a local hospital in stable condition, said Lt. Joel Granata.

The incident was reported at 5:08 p.m. at an Exxon gas station at 2929 28th St. N, across from St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue Station 10.

When the canopy was blown free it also crashed into the gas station building itself. It pushed the car on its side.

"The roof of the car was crushed to the steering wheel," Granata said.

Firefighters called in backup from fire crews across Pinellas County, and the department's technical response team had to use hydraulic-powered cutting and prying tools to free the woman.

"We were able to remove her safely," Granata said. "She had cuts and scrapes on her."

Gas station attendant Wendell Welker, 48, of St. Petersburg, said he and two customers were inside the store at the time of the incident. The woman, a regular customer, had just pulled up in a maroon sedan and parked near the door.

Welker said he heard a loud sound just before the canopy toppled.

"Dude, I hit the floor," he said. "I said 'we're in a tornado.'"

He said the next thing he heard was the woman screaming for help. He called 911.

"If there's anybody out there who doesn't believe in God they better start believing," he said later.

Granata said officials were able to shore up the canopy, which is not expected to be moved until Wednesday at the earliest, during which time the gas station will be closed.

Follow This Just In on Twitter.

One person rescued from car after St. Petersburg gas station canopy collapses 01/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy


    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  2. Funeral held for U.S. soldier at center of Trump fight


    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  3. Chemical industry insider now shapes EPA policy


    WASHINGTON — For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

    This is the Dow chemical plant near Freeport, Texas. Before the 2016 election, Dow had been in talks with the EPA to phase out the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is blamed for disabilities in children. Dow is no longer willing to compromise.
  4. Unforgiving wildfires affect vineyard workers and owners


    SONOMA, Calif. — When the wildfires ignited, vineyard workers stopped picking grapes and fled for their lives. Some vineyard owners decided to stay and fight back, spending days digging firebreaks and sleeping among their vines.

    Wilma Illanes and daughter Gabriela Cervantes, 8, found their home intact, but had lost a week’s wages and sought aid.
  5. O'Reilly got new contract after big settlement


    Last January, six months after Fox News ousted its chairman amid a sexual harassment scandal, the network's top-rated host at the time, Bill O'Reilly, struck a $32 million agreement with a longtime network analyst to settle new sexual harassment allegations, two people briefed on the matter told the New York …

    Bill O’Reilly was fired by Fox News after multiple allegations.