Columbus women were inside Chicago mall when car drove through it

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Chicago area mall opened back up this weekend after a scary situation Friday afternoon.

A man drove his car through parts of the Woodfield Mall.

Inside the mall while this was happening were some Columbus area women.

The trip from Columbus was supposed to be a getaway, a fun time for all the women from the church who go. Friday was the 30th anniversary of the trip.

But Friday afternoon, both for the women who were inside the mall and the organizer from the church, all of the focus was on making sure everyone was OK.

Moments after the black SUV went barreling through the mall, Clye Clarke started getting calls.

“From everyone about what was going on,” Clarke said.

**Warning: Video below contains strong language

She organized the women’s getaway fro the First Church of God. About 300 women were on the trip, and at least two of them were in the mall when the car came crashing through and saw what happened.

Clarke had left about five minutes before the car sent people running all over the shopping center.

“As things began to unfold, I think for them, it was, ‘Are we gonna make it out?,'” Clarke said. “We don’t know what’s happening and I think even for a lot of us, we were just wondering, ‘OK, are they safe?'”

She’s been talking with the women who were in the mall and said they’re still a little shaken up. The women ran into another area of the mall to get away from what was happening.

“She said, ‘I’ll never forget that tunnel,’ and just the anxiety and the fright and the fear that they felt not knowing if we’re gonna get out of this or what’s going on,” Clarke said.

They weren’t hurt and according to Chicago authorities, no one who was in the mall has any life-threatening injuries.

“It’s our faith because we believe that God was watching over us,” Clarke said.

Once the two women got out of the mall, Clarke and the others gave them big hugs. The weekend getaway was not ruined.

“Once everyone knew everything was OK, there was just this overwhelming sense of peace,” Clarke said. “In spite of that, and in spite of what happened, we still were able to enjoy ourselves.”

Clarke said no one she’s talked to is letting what happened this year keep them from going next year. Plans for the group to go to Nashville are already in works.

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