‘Act of grace’: Video captures car crashing through Steele Creek martial arts studio

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Video footage shows a car smashing into a southwest Charlotte martial arts studio Saturday afternoon, nearly hitting the students inside.

It happened at Leadership Martial Arts in Steele Creek.

In the video below, the car can be seen smashing through the wall, sending chairs and debris flying, landing just feet away from the students.

A massive hole could be seen in the wall.

The martial arts studio said no students or staff were hurt. MEDIC said the driver had minor injuries.

The studio’s owner, Derek Richardson, said they were in the middle of a class when the crash happened, but everyone was on the other side of the room when the car came through.

“Man, it was like an act of grace that saved everybody. Normally, on a normal Saturday, we might have parents standing in the viewing area right here. The car cleared almost all of the chairs out, as you can see in the video,” Richardson said.

Leadership Martial Arts will be closed next week at least through Wednesday due to damage sustained to the building...

Posted by Leadership Martial Arts on Saturday, March 6, 2021

Richardson said the studio will be closed until at least Thursday due to the damage to the building.

“It’s an unexpected event to be in the middle of a lesson and then to suddenly have a car inside your building,” Richardson said.

Even though his business is damaged, Richardson is staying positive. His students decorated the plywood, which now covers the big hole, with jokes and positive statements.

“I don’t know if it was good luck or good fortune or divine intervention, but the situation was handled really well,” he said.

Police said the driver was driving recklessly and lost control. They have not identified the driver or the exact charges they may face.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.