An incident at Gales Gas Bar in Virgil Sunday has resulted in a plea from the owner for drivers to be more cautious around the gas pumps.
Jessica Gale Friesen, owner and CEO of Gales Gas Bars, says an attendant was sweeping away snow Sunday morning when a car driving up to the pumps hit him.
He wasn’t hurt, just badly shaken, and was able to continue working his shift.
A Facebook post describing the incident left the impression that it was more serious, and the comments raised some questions about whether it was a gas and dash, which it wasn’t, Friesen said — the driver paid for his gas and left.
She explained that whether it’s a cash transaction or paid by a card at the pump, the attendant has to authorize the sale, which he did.
It was the attendant’s decision not to call the police, since he was not injured. He told his boss he believed the driver didn’t see him, because the windshield had not been properly cleared of snow and visibility was limited.
“My concern is for the physical and mental health of the attendant. We’ve ensured he feels safe enough and wants to finish his shift,” says Friesen.
Athough the attendant wasn’t hurt, it was still a serious situation, and could have been much worse, she added.
“The gas bar attendant was just doing his job, but the driver wasn’t paying attention. People need to be more careful when they drive into and out of a gas station. They often drive too quickly and recklessly, and aren’t paying attention.”
Drivers getting out of their car and walking to the booth to pay should be cautious of others not paying attention, she says.
Friesen would love to see legislation such as in the U.S., where people getting gas have to pay ahead of time. The number of people who gas and dash, pumping and leaving without paying, has escalated during COVID, and that also creates an unsafe situation at the pumps, as drivers leave in a hurry.
Although it’s never happened at a Gales Gas Bar, there have been cases of attendants being killed by a gas and dash driver, she says.
Although this was not a situation of a driver not paying, it’s a reminder to drivers “to treat gas stations seriously,” says Friesen.
“A lot of people are in a hurry and might not be paying a lot of attention, to other customers or anyone outside a car. It’s important to understand how dangerous that can be.”