ROGERS, Ark. — On Monday, Sept. 26, a Rogers teen was going through an automatic car wash when a brush fell in her car.
17-year-old Emma Kate James of Rogers said she and a friend had just left dance practice when she decided to stop by Zips Car Wash on Pleasant Grove Road.
"Then soon my, the scrubber from the top just fell off and hit my mirror [windshield]. There was a glass going everywhere. And my car was still going. And so the scrubber just kept coming closer to closer and closer to me. So I soon freaked out, I did not know what to do. So I tried opening my door, it would not open, I did not know what to do," said Emma Kate. "My friend was not freaking out. And she was like, let's just get out my side. So we got out, we ran out. I was like Help, help. Like I don't know what to do. And the guy yelled at me to get back into my car."
She then called her dad, Kevin James, moments after it happened.
"It's my daughter, crying hysterically. And you know, as a parent, that's scary. You don't know if she's in a major car accident, what's going on? Where she is. Her phone was still connected to the bluetooth in the car wash. So I wasn't even able to hear her," said Kevin. "I get here, and she's off over in the corner. And all I can see is her legs bleeding, and she's crying, hysterical. And right away. I mean, nobody's attending to her. And I get really upset. I probably said a few things that maybe I shouldn't have said to some of the workers. But like I said, I just didn't know what to do."
Kevin explains that the accident occurred around 5 p.m., and didn't leave until 9:30 p.m.
"I would guess it was the maintenance guy came. And he demanded that I get the car moved right now because he needs to get it up and running because they're losing money every minute. And I said, Sir, I am not gonna get in the vehicle with broken glass all over," said Kevin. "He said, Well, I can call the cops and the cops actually did come. It's private property. So they just did an incident report. But they said if I did not feel comfortable to move the car that they could get a tow truck to come and tow it, which that's what happened."
At the time of the interview, the James family was still waiting for the car wash's insurance to contact him.
"I reached out to the manager the next day and asked her if she's heard anything from insurance," said James. "She said you know she hasn't heard anything. I’m on day three, I still didn't hear anything."
Kevin made a Facebook post in hopes that the car wash or their insurance company would contact him. Instead, he heard from locals sharing similar stories.
"A guy sent me pictures of their vehicle in Fayetteville. The exact same part fell off and broke the windshield broke their sunroof dented the hood dented the roof. They said there is $10,000 worth of damage in Zip's. Insurance is not yet paid for that," said Kevin. "It very much discourages me and you know several people on there has put reach out to an attorney because Zip's isn't going to do anything for you. So like I said, I'm hoping they'll do the right thing. We'll see."
5NEWS reporter Jose Carranza visited the physical location at Pleasant Grove on Thursday and was told that it was passed on to corporate with an ongoing investigation.
On Friday, Sept. 30, Zip's Car Wash released the following statement,
Thanks for reaching out directly to us. The safety and security of all of our customers and associates are our utmost priority, and their well-being is at the center of everything we do. It’s our goal to ensure every customer has a safe and fun experience at any ZIPS location. We are continuing to work with the proper parties to swiftly investigate and resolve this matter.
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