The wind is being blamed for a freak accident that occurred at a Denny’s restaurant in Elizabethtown, Kentucky on Thursday. During high winds in the afternoon, Mary Graham was driving her parents, Lloyd Curtis located in the front seat, and Lillian Curtis, in the back seat, to the Denny’s near Interstate 65 in Elizabeth. As they arrived, the giant 1.3 ton Denny’s sign came tumbling off the high pole it was mounted on, landing on and smashing their car, a blue Dodge Dart. A large crane was needed to remove the massive sign off of their smashed car.
Lillian Curtis, 72, suffered from a catastrophic head wound in the freak accident; she was taken to University of Louisville Hospital but died from her injuries. Her husband is recovering in the hospital while Graham, their daughter, was released earlier after she was treated for a chest injury.
72-year-old woman dies after Denny’s sign falls on her car. pic.twitter.com/qIE2s3c9D2
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) January 20, 2023
The family was on their way home after picking up Lloyd Curtis from the hospital, where he underwent heart surgery just three days earlier.
“I am able to say with certainty the wind was a factor. Very, very sad situation,” Elizabethtown police spokesperson Chris Denham told reporters.
At the time of the accident, the National Weather Service office in Louisville, Kentucky noted how windy it was, reporting wind gusts of 45-55 mph in the region.
— NWS Louisville (@NWSLouisville) January 20, 2023
Denny’s released a statement addressing the accident: “Denny’s is aware of the incident that took place at our Elizabethtown location on Thursday. Safety is our top priority, and we are working with the authorities to better understand what led to this situation. Our thoughts are with all of those involved.”
Amy Nichols, Lillian Curtis’s granddaughter, started a GoFundMe to raise money for her memorial service and to help pay for the family to be together at this tragic time. Nichols set a goal of $5,000 and as of the publication of this article, had raised $2,790 from 70 donors.
Nichols wrote, “Please keep my family in your prayers for this is a very difficult time for all of us. My nanny was loved by so many people and this loss has left a hole inside us all. Anything helps and is greatly appreciated.”