OBITUARIES: Decatur | Shoals | Huntsville
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Shouting on Sixth Avenue
Witnesses say driver who hit gas station pump said he was Christ
By Seth Burkett
The Decatur Daily

Gary Cosby Jr./The Decatur Daily
Decatur Police arrest Zachary Matthew Minson after he crashed his car into a fuel pump at the Liberty 2000 station on Sixth Avenue at 14th Street Southeast on Wednesday,

A Decatur man claimed he was Jesus Christ after crashing his car Wednesday in the Corr Wireless parking lot and uprooting a kerosene pump at the gas station next door, witnesses said.

Decatur police identified the driver of the red Toyota Corolla as Zachary Matthew Minson, 33. Officers arrested him for disorderly conduct at the scene of the 2:30 p.m. wreck, which caused a fuel spill and damage to two parked vehicles.

Police spokesman Lt. John Crouch said Minson was intoxicated, but police later said a charge of driving under the influence was pending toxicology results.

Minson threw his head back and repeatedly screamed "God!" before falling on the pavement as police tried to take him into custody.

"He was acting real weird," said Brook White of Athens, whose parked car was struck when the Corolla knocked a parked pickup into it. "He said his name was Jesus Christ."

Police spokesman Lt. John Crouch said Minson was northbound on Sixth Avenue Southeast and apparently swerved to avoid traffic stopped at the 14th Street intersection.

Witnesses said his car went through the entrance of Redstone Federal Credit Union and was airborne when it hit a divider between the Redstone and Corr Wireless parking lots.

Tommy King said he saw the car jump the bushes in the grass divider.

"After it crashed, he got out and started screaming bloody murder," King said.

White said the car never braked before striking the kerosene pump.

"It was so fast, I swear if I had blinked I would have missed it," she said.
White said she ran out of the store and saw all the vehicle's airbags deployed.

"I didn't want to be the one to open the door and find a dead body," she said.
After they got him out, the driver told bystanders he was injured. An ambulance went to the scene, but no one was taken to the hospital.

Ben Patel, manager of the Liberty 2000 gas station, said the damaged pump will cost about $10,000 to replace.

"I've never seen that kind of wreck before," Patel said.

Firefighters said the valve on the pump was shut off after the crash. They put down absorbent powder to dry up spilled kerosene.

Staff writer Ben Montgomery contributed to this report. Seth Burkett can be reached at 256-340-2446 or

Aftermath of car hitting gas pump

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