DRIVER PLOWS INTO MOBILE DANCE STUDIO, KILLING ONE, INJURING SEVERAL OTHERS

Melanie Petithory00000000

Tragedy strikes Alabama’s dance community after a man plowed into the Sheffield School of Dance in Mobile on Friday, killing one and injuring several others.

University of Alabama student Lyla Brady said she’s heartbroken that something so terrible could happen at the studio she grew up in.

“It’s just such a special place, it became like a second home,” she said.

Dance studio owner Theresa Hutchins was there when the crash happened.

“I saw the vehicle coming toward me and I fell,” she said. “I grabbed the barre and it stopped my fall.”

Police said it appears 48-year-old Michael Witherspoon suffered a medical emergency behind the wheel before the crash. He and three adult passengers were taken to the hospital for their injuries, and all are expected to recover.

Melanie Petithory, 55, a former student of the studio and a grandmother, was killed while watching dance practice. Five children were pinned under the SUV, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

No charges have been filed.

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