Chattanooga grandmother isn't letting stolen car slow her down


If you ask Louann Lawson, she'll tell you she's a "creature of habit."

So when she pulled up to the Dollar General on Dayton Blvd. in Red Bank on Monday morning to pick up a friend, she did what she always does, "I just pull up there, leave the car running, leave my door open, leave my trunk open and step inside the door."

Within five minutes, someone came into the store from the parking lot to tell Louann, "ma'am, somebody just drove off with your car."

In that moment, Louann didn't know how to react.

Everyday, the 76 year old Grandmother wakes up and goes to work at Soddy Daisy Healthcare.

Without a mode of transportation, Louann had no way to do what she loved, help others.

She called her work, "her mission" and desperately wanted to get back to it.

So that day, she started looking for another mode of transportation.

While Louann was picking up a rental car on Tuesday morning, her grandson called her cell phone.

"My grandson Jonathan says, 'Granny I found your car,'" Louann said of the call.

Her grandson had spotted it in a parking lott two blocks from where his grandma was at the time.

When she heard the news, Louann said she "wanted to go up and stand beside the car until the guy came out and tell him I needed my keys because that was my car."

Related | Chattanooga Police: One car in Tuesday's head-on collision had been stolen

Chattanooga Police advised against that.

Instead, they told Louann's grandson to stay put and to not engage the suspect if the stolen car left the parking lot.

"It wasn't his place to follow the car," Louann said.

He did.

At some point after that, Louann's blue Ford Focus hit another car head on, injuring the driver of the other car.

Witnesses said the suspect left the scene on foot covered in blood before the arrived.

Louann hasn't missed a beat.

She's back to helping others at Soddy Daisy Healthcare.

She has a message for the thief:

God bless that guy. Whoever he is, because he's going to need all the help he can get.

The Chattanooga Police Department is still searching for the suspect.

The other driver involved in the accident is now in the hospital, being treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries. A family member tells NewsChannel 9 that she is in the intensive care unit with several broken bones. That family member says that it will take the woman months to recover from her injuries.

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