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Old Colorado City dispensary reopens one year after a car crashed into the building

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- People who saw it, described it as something out of a movie. On August 11, 2020, a car barreled into an Old Colorado City medical marijuana dispensary. Now, 13 months after the crash, Garden of the Budz is finally able to reopen its doors.

The crash was caused by a driver suffering from a medical incident. Several people were taken to the hospital and the crash took out nearly the entire store.

Katheryn Benson was working in the store at the time of the incident. A budtender at the dispensary, she was the only person inside, when a red Toyota Prius slammed into the store. The events were caught on surveillance camera, showing her preparing to eat her lunch when the walls caved in.

"It's just kind of like watching a movie, but I happen to be the person that the movie happened to," Benson told KRDO. "So I watch it and honestly as I'm watching the video, it'll go along and I'm like, 'did it actually take that long for it to happen?'"

She's back at work Monday at a place she loves, after being forced to take time off.

"I had unemployment that took care of me for a while and then I was able to find temporary jobs here and there to keep me, kind of afloat," Benson said. "I knew that I wanted to come back here. I love this job, I love what I do, I love who I work for.

Benson works for shop owner Tasha Vigil, who thinks about the accident frequently.

"I think every day my husband and I will wake up and we both quit," Vigil adds. "But we have people that we love that rely on us, and that have supported us through this."

Vigil owns the building and had insurance for the shop, but not her product. It's been tough trying to build her business back to what it was.

"It definitely feels like we had to go through all of the red tape again to get reopened and get our business back up and going. The construction alone was very untimely and couldn't have happened at the worst time with the pandemic."

But Monday is a happy day for them. 

"It's amazing," Vigil says with a smile. "It feels really great to be reopened and to bring our employees back and to open up for our westside community."

Vigil notes that despite the labor shortage that many businesses across the country are dealing with, she hasn't had to reach too far to get her old employees back. 

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.

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