Car crashes through WesBanco office

November 29, 2012

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Thursday was Donna Dryden’s late day where she works at WesBanco on Gallia Street in Portsmouth. Donna works until 6 p.m. on Thursday, so she was not in her office when a car came plowing through the wall at around 8:50 a.m., heavily damaging the desk where she would have been sitting the morning before.

Dryden’s day doesn’t begin until around 9:15 a.m. on Thursdays.

“I’d say I have a guardian angel,” Dryden said, still trembling minutes later. “I was shocked when I came in.”

Robin Jones was working behind the counter. “I heard like a bomb going off, and then the window just sort of falling in,” Jones said. “It was unreal. I didn’t see the car. I started to duck. I thought we were being bombed or something. Then I saw the car. I’m just glad everybody is alright.”

“It was about 10 till 9,” Wesbanco Manager Pam Shaw said. “A lady was parking out in front of the building, and she said her car just wouldn’t stop, and it just hit the building. It just kept running and gearing up and it scared us. We thought it was a bomb going off. It sounded terrible.”

While the car, driven by Barbara Vassar of West Portsmouth, did not come through the wall, damage was caused to the wall and a window was popped out.

“She (Vassar) was fine,” Shaw said. “She got out of the car on her own and didn’t want an ambulance. She was just shook up, but she was fine.”

As workers began immediately to make repairs outside, Shaw said she did not expect any curtailment of business.

“Our construction guy said give him a day or two,” Shaw said. “He said the drive-through can be open, so we shouldn’t be inconvenienced. Maybe the lobby here will be a little bit of an inconvenience.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at