City Pain at the Pump
posted by September 4 at 17:46 PMon
As widely reported yesterday, a woman at a Capitol Hill gas station narrowly survived the worst pun of the recession. “Pain at the pump,” the veritable walker with tennis balls of newspaper headlines about high gas prices, became a horrifying reality when someone driving an SUV hit a gas pump that subsequently burst into flames, severely burning the woman’s legs.
Today The Stranger learned that the victim was 39-year-old Martha Manning, co-owner of Seattle’s only lesbian bar, the Wildrose.
At about 4 p.m., Manning was at the 76 gas station at the north end of Broadway getting a receipt from the gas pump’s pay terminal. “I heard a really big bang,” says Adam Nemeth, a chef who was working across the street at Bella Pizza & Pasta. He believes the driver “was avoiding an accident, and he sped up instead of stopping and ran into the pump,” he says. “I looked up and saw a Volkswagen SUV… planted into the pump” on the other side of Manning. Within moments, “The whole thing was engulfed in flames,” he says. Both cars and the pump were charred.
After running out of the smoke, Manning rescued her five-pound Chihuahua from inside the white vehicle and then tried to extinguish her burning pants. “Her leg was smoldering,” says Nemeth.
“When they called me at work I was like, ‘What?’” says Shelley Bothers, who has co-owned the Wildrose with Manning for seven years. “What do you mean a gas pump exploded?” Manning is currently at Harboview being treated for second- and third-degree burns below her knees, Brothers says. “I was there last night and she was doing pretty good. About all she can do now is wait to heal.”
Manning may be released from the hospital next week, Brothers says, and the bar may hold some sort of fundraiser to help pay her medical bills.