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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pain at the Pump

posted by on September 4 at 17:46 PM

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.

RSS icon Comments


I have to admit, the sight of Republican long timers whipping themselves up into a frenzy, just because an "actual real girl" came to speak before them, reminded me of this episode of South Park:

Posted by John Bailo | September 4, 2008 5:57 PM

Damn. Poor her. Burns are the worst kind of terrible. Is her dog okay?

Posted by Samantha | September 4, 2008 6:04 PM

Best of Luck to the Wildrose mover and doer. What a god damned freak accident.
In for 200.00 toward her bills,
and wishes for speedy recovery.

Posted by George | September 4, 2008 6:18 PM

Uh... what happened to the driver?

Posted by Horace Walpole | September 4, 2008 6:22 PM

What? The driver's insurance company isn't paying? Bullshit.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 4, 2008 6:26 PM

Keshi, that's what I was thinking. I know it will probably take a bit to get the money out of it, but its kind of all the driver's fault.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | September 4, 2008 6:32 PM

Noooo! Oh, I hope they're giving her good meds.

Do insurance companies have to pay any more?

Posted by Amelia | September 4, 2008 8:59 PM

@5, @7 if the driver was indeed avoiding an accident caused by something egregiously reckless, etc. and the driver was acting reasonbly, he's probably not at fault. The perp who likely got away would be. So it's basically a hit and run, and nada.
That all can be litigated, but up front you aren't going to have the driver's insurance paying.
If the police report indicates the driver was not at fault then you can appeal to have the accident reconstructed. if the driver is still not obviously at fault you have to litigate, and then only after the driver is found at fault will liability insurance kick in.

Posted by kinaidos | September 4, 2008 9:41 PM


Thanks for the info. And that fucking sucks.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 4, 2008 9:54 PM

Wow. I hope she gets better fast. Maybe she should have put the fire out of her pants first and then gotten the dog! Well, at least they are both semi-okay. I probably would have done the same thing for my cats. It probably happened so fast she didn't have time to think! Why is there only ONE lesbian bar in Seattle?!? That is pathetic! How many gay bars are there??? But, I have been to the is cool. I just remember it being very crowded.

Posted by Kristin Bell | September 4, 2008 11:23 PM

I wish a speedy recovery to my lesbian sister in arms.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | September 4, 2008 11:42 PM

Oh, that's terrible. Get well. And give us a Paypal link to donate.

Posted by Fnarf | September 5, 2008 9:04 AM

Is the station owner/operator doing anything to help? I doubt it. They once zealously gave me a $75 ticket when I stepped off their property while pumping gas - saying I had "parked" my vehicle on their lot. My tank hadn't filled yet and the gas was still pumping when I returned (literally seconds later) and they pushed the ticket through the door when I stepped back inside. I've refused to patronize them since and have encouraged others to do the same. Greedy Bastards!

Posted by atlsea | September 5, 2008 9:30 AM

SAD!!!!! I'll be going to the Wildrose several times in the near future to donate (ie, buy a double). I really hope she's okay.

Um, the driver was described as "incredibly high" by the police. I reaaaally doubt they have good/any liability insurance.

BTW, public service announcement: Your first reaction if you get into an accident that will make it onto blogs is to tell the paramedics to call your nerdiest friend to have them set up a paypal donation link for you.

Posted by jrrrl | September 5, 2008 3:32 PM

In an answer to some of your questions:
The guy who hit the pump was high and drunk. He was taken to the hospital and didn't even know he was in a crash. I dont know if he had insurance. I know that the people at the gas station refused to help the woman who was burned.
Yes the dog is ok.

Posted by Squid | September 7, 2008 2:04 AM

The real answer, because I know the driver, is that he was NOT drunk or high. I just thank god the women who was hurt is doing o.k. and same for the driver who did suffer injuries too. I am not sure how anybody who was not at the hospital could know what the driver was feeling or thinking. I wish both parties a speedy recovery.

Posted by sad friend | September 8, 2008 5:50 PM

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