Teller's Mistake May Have Helped Spare Member's Life

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A teller's simple mistake likely saved the life of the member who caught it and turned back just as a car came slamming into the entryway of Family Trust FCU here on St. Patrick's Day.

"If she had continued out the door, she never would have seen the car coming and likely would have died," said Lee Gardner, CEO. "Of course, I hope you point out that that's the only error we've ever made."

Gardner said eight employees and members were inside the credit union branch that faces a four-lane rural highway when a passerby driving a Cadillac suffered a heart attack at about 10 a.m. His car swerved across two lanes of traffic and the CU's drive-thru lanes before slamming into its front doors, stopping short of the lobby.

One member just finished her business at a teller window and was walking toward the front door when she realized that her money had been deposited into the wrong account, he said. She turned back to have the error corrected just in the nick of time

"Once embedded into the front of the building, the car was still running and the tires were spinning, filling both the credit union and the car with black smoke," Gardner said, explaining that the driver apparently slumped forward, which forced his foot onto the accelerator.

He said the front of the car penetrated one of the CU's loan offices where an employee was working. Fortunately, no one inside the building was injured.

A passerby who witnessed the accident rushed over to the car and was able to break the window with a "special tool" and stop the car's engine, Gardner said. Unfortunately, the driver was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The branch received about $20,000 in damages and was expected to be closed for about a week during repairs.

Family Trust FCU has about $167 million in assets, five branches and 26,000 members in York County.

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