RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An unexpected mess at a luxury car dealership. It's not what you normally see on the showroom floor at Mercedes-Benz on Midlothian Turnpike.
There is a gaping hole in the showroom after a customer hit the gas instead of the brake – and a quick-thinking soldier came to her rescue.
He was here to shop for a new car, but instead Private First Class Antoine Purnell put his Fort Lee training to use. A customer backed her $40,000 birthday gift into the showroom at around 2:30 Friday.
"I noticed this truck kept moving it wouldn't stop and she went through the glass," he said.
Employees at Mercedes-Benz of Richmond thought much worse was happening the moment the glass shattered.
"People thought gunshots were coming in there it was a loud explosion and a little panic," said general manager Kevin Gonzalez.
Without second thought, Purnell jumped into action.
"She was kind of panicking and everything like that so I just reached in and grabbed her out, cut the car off and away from the glass it kept falling."
Gonzalez says the woman was on the lot for a replacement key.
"Unfortunately she hit the gas pedal rather than the brake and ended up giving us a drive thru in the showroom," he said.
Purnell who's headed for his first hardship tour in Korea doesn't consider himself a hero.
"Didn't expect it, but we came that's what we train hard for anything unexpected we know how to react to it," he said.
Purnell was just shopping for a new car at the time. The woman was not hurt, just shaken up.
Police were called but no report was taken. A building inspector determined there was no structural damage so the dealership can stay in business. No word on just how much repairs will cost.