CONYERS—Although the windows are boarded up and yellow caution tape still has some areas blocked off, the Rockdale County Tax Commissioner’s Office is open and operating.
A few days ago, a car came crashing through the office as customers stood in line, many of them waiting to renew their vehicle tags. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.
“We just heard this large boom and huge rumbling out of nowhere. I checked on my staff, then customers and then the driver. The driver tried to get out of the car after the wreck, but she was stuck between her car and an office desk,” said Rockdale Tax Commissioner RJ Hadley. “It was a crowded day at the office because of the snow storm that came just days before, so I’m just glad none of those customers or my staff were seriously hurt.”
The accident happened on Jan. 31, around 4 p.m., an hour before closing. A 73-year-old driver accidentally hit the accelerator on her late 1990’s Kia Sephia and drove into the Rockdale County Tag and Tax Commissioner’s Office at 969 Pine Street, N.E., in Conyers. The driver told police she thought she put the car in reverse.
A female pedestrian on the sidewalk was knocked down as a result of the accident, police said. The driver was uninjured and is not facing charges from Conyers Police. The pedestrian was treated at Rockdale Medical Center with no serious injuries.
“I really appreciate the way the Rockdale Sheriff’s Office, Conyers Police Department and other county and emergency staff swiftly responded to the scene as they came to aid us quickly. My staff was quick on their feet with helping customers who were shaken up as well,” said Hadley. “Miraculously, no one suffered serious injuries.”
For Cheryl Armstrong, the wreck was a true way to go out with a bang. The car crashed into her office as she prepared wrapped up her last day on the job.
“We didn’t have a formal retirement party, but RJ told me that throughout the day they would have little surprises for me,” said Armstrong, a 10-year veteran at the office. “When the crash happened and everyone was settled I asked him: Was this one of the surprises?” Armstrong said jokingly. “I worked in the office in property tax collections for a long time and of course, I’ve never had anything like this happen.”
Armstrong and two other employees working in the same office were uninjured. Hadley said another employee was treated for hyperventilation who was a little shaken up by the whole thing.
Hadley said he expects repairs to take a few weeks.
Pictured at top: Rockdale County Tax Commissioner RJ Hadley surveys damages at his office in Conyers.