SUV crashes into Rock Hill liquor store

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comMay 13, 2013 

— Jimmy Long says he was home in his pajamas Saturday night when the security alarm at the liquor store he’s owned for eight years went off.

By the time he arrived at Albright ABC, police were on the scene, employees and volunteers of a nearby bar were scoping the damage and the store’s cinderblock wall had been pushed inward about 3 feet with its pink insulation exposed.

According to police, the driver of a black sports utility vehicle backed into the store’s wall after pulling away from the nearby Sledgehammer Saloon just before 11 p.m., a Rock Hill police report states.

Store surveillance video shows the large truck slowly backing towards the store at 10:54 p.m. Then, the car accelerates and slams into a side wall, pushing layers of plaster and glass into a part of the store that sells food, sodas, wine and candy bars. Insulation was left exposed. Debris showered the floor, and the side door and frame were smashed.

The car’s tag can’t be read from the surveillance video.

Long stayed at the store till about 2 a.m. Sunday to clean up the damage, he said. On Monday, he and an employee were still cleaning the mess while curious customers asked questions.

“I tell them all the same thing,” he said.

Police estimated that the car caused at least $3,000 worth of damage, possibly more. Long said he was still calculating the cost, but thinks the crash caused at least $260 worth of damage to merchandise --most of it beer-- that was stocked near the wall.

A Sledgehammer volunteer, who didn’t want to give his name, said he was told that the driver, an older man, didn’t feel well when he went to the bar. He had one beer that he never finished.

“Apparently, he was feeling bad and got up to leave,” he said.

Long plans to contact the man and coordinate how he’ll pay for the damage. The store closes at 7 each night, he said.

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO BELOW

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