Woman critically injured after wall collapses at Denny's - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Woman critically injured after wall collapses at Denny's

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email and Lori Brown - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis woman was critically injured when a two-story wall at a Denny's Restaurant in Downtown Memphis collapsed Sunday morning.

40-year-old Faye Hall was leaving the restaurant - which is located in The Benchmark Hotel - after eating breakfast with her family when a large Denny's sign peeled away from the building's facade, causing the wall to crumble onto the sidewalk in a cloud of dust and debris.

Hall was buried under the rubble.

Witnesses pulled bricks off of her as quickly as possible.

"It could have been any one of us, or anyone else. It could have been six people stuck under there," said Joshua Ortega, a volunteer firefighter who witnessed the accident. He advised the victim's family not to move her until emergency crews arrived.

The victim's husband said people had to hold him back.

"That was my wife laying there," said Robert Hall.

Faye Hall was rescued a short while later. She was conscious, but in critical condition when an ambulance rushed her to The Regional Medical Center. 

"She wasn't talking, but she was awake and aware," said Major Charles Newell with the Memphis Police Department.

Robert Hall says he could hear his wife's distress as paramedics put her into an ambulance.

"She was just moaning," he said.

Hall was taken in for surgery Sunday afternoon. The wife and mother of three remains in extremely critical condition.

Family members say they never thought that simply walking Downtown would turn into a near death situation.

"It just collapsed. We were all talking, and it just...building fell," Robert Hall said.

He questions why this happened to his beloved wife.

"It could have been me instead of her," he said.

Niece Angela Tate said she's praying for her aunt's recovery. "She's a strong person. She looks out for everybody. Everybody. "

Traffic in the busy area was diverted as emergency officials worked the scene.

Police say they'll keep the surrounding streets blocked off while they work to determine if the rest of the building is safe.

Inspectors with the city engineer's office said they don't know what caused the wall to collapse -  that will likely be determined by insurance companies.
The Benchmark Hotel's managers had no comment Sunday. 

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