Ridgeland Senior Center reopens after New Year's car accident - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Ridgeland Senior Center reopens after New Year's car accident

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RIDGELAND, SC (WTOC) -

Charges will not be filed against the driver who accidentally ran his car into the Ridgeland Senior Center on New Year's Eve.

The center just reopened its doors on Monday.

There's still a lot of work to be done, and the center is now waiting on insurance estimates for the damage, but the staff and members say they couldn't be happier to be back here.

"Feels real good, cleaned up everything and all. Glad to be back," said employee Freddie Cunningham.  

About 25 people came in Monday to enjoy their usual traditions at the Ridgeland Senior Center, chatting with friends, playing the crossword puzzle and watching TV.

"I felt like my family was coming home," said Executive Director Kathy Hightower, who was standing just a few feet away when the car plowed through the center on New Year's Eve. She admits she hasn't slept well until now.

"I finally slept last night because I knew everybody was going to be back today," she said.

Harriett Merritt describes what it was like seeing the car drive through the double doors.

"When it went off, it was exactly like a big bomb, like you were over in the military," said Merritt.

Four people were injured in the crash. Three of the four chairs still sat empty today.

Merritt says it's hard for her and others knowing that they are still in pain.

"I classify them all as my immediate family," she said.  

Hightower expects the other three members will return to the senior center later this week.

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