It was a difficult holiday for dozens of area families. They witnessed a horrific accident that killed a friend and now they’re forced to move out of their home in Colonial Beach, Va. within the next few days.
Christmas Day in the tiny town had all the trappings of a festive time, but for dozens of families it was hardly a happy holiday.
“Christmas is supposed to be unwrapping presents, not packing up your belongings,” says Jeremy Whitfield. “It’s just not right.”
The residents of the Beachgate Inn are being forced to move out by Thursday.
“It’s frustrating… we’re all trying to stay in good spirits. It’s the holidays and we’re lucky we do have what we have,” says Alyce Malowicki.
Last Thursday a man driving down the road had a seizure, ran through a stop sign, hit two parked cars and then struck the motel. But before it hit the hotel, the car came into contact with Bobby Lee’s brother, Otis. The 62-year-old amputee was unable to escape the car’s path.
“It hit him, ran over top of him and ran into the building,” says Lee. “It happened in less than two minutes. He had just walked out the door.”
When the Fire Marshal inspected the damage to the hotel, he noticed faulty electrical wiring, poor plumbing and bad ventilation. The building was not up to code.
So instead of presents piling up under a Christmas tree, there are boxes stacked high outside. The residents still have no idea where they’ll move and no longer have hope for a happy holiday season.