Vehicle stolen in Columbia crashes into Myrtle Beach hotel sign - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Vehicle stolen in Columbia crashes into Myrtle Beach hotel sign

Photo from the scene. (Source: Eric Hunt) Photo from the scene. (Source: Eric Hunt)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A vehicle stolen out of Columbia crashed into a Myrtle Beach hotel sign Monday night, causing significant damage to both the vehicle and the sign.

A viewer sent several images of the crashed vehicle, saying that the collision happened at about 10:05 p.m., Monday.

The photos show a totaled yellow SUV under the collapsed sign of the Meridian Plaza hotel, with bricks from a small wall strewn across the adjacent sidewalk. The viewer said all the vehicle’s occupants were taken to the hospital.

Alka Patel, owner of Sunfun-Sunrise Motels, said she heard a car speed past on Ocean Boulevard before hearing a crash.

"We heard a big bang, two, three times, one after another, then we knew the car was flipping over really bad," she said.

Patel went outside and witnessed the car flip one final time.

"It was horrible," she said.

She added her husband ran over to help, but first responders arrived right away.

“They tried to cut a hole and tried to get him out," Patel said, adding the driver looked to be in critical condition. “I didn’t know if he was going to make it or not and I hope he does." 

Patel also saw a passenger in the car.

“He flipped into the back seat from the front seat," Patel said. "He looked OK. He was bleeding on his face and everything. He had a good cut.”

Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said the accident didn't result in any fatalities.

Even when the scene was cleared, the images kept Patel up all night.

“It was very disturbing to watch the whole thing because when you see the car completely crashed, it was just, 'Oh god, thank god it’s not my sons,'" she said. "You just think of your loved ones first.”

Mobile users - see more images of the crash here

Myrtle Beach police confirmed that the involved vehicle was stolen out of Columbia.

"We knew it must have been something they’ve done going so fast," Patel said. "It was disturbing."

The full police report was not yet available, but WMBF News is working to learn more.

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