December 25, 2008

Gas & More Damaged in One-Car Accident

The volunteers helping clean up debris at the crash scene all agreed it could have been much worse.

An entire section of the front wall at Gas & More convenience store on Highway 136 in Memphis was gone following a one-vehicle accident that occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Friday, December 19th.

Gary Shoop of Memphis was westbound on Highway 136 in a Chevy Suburban when he apparently suffered a medical condition that caused him to lose consciousness. The vehicle ran off the south side of the roadway, struck a road sign and ran over a snow embankment between the two east driveways to the store. The vehicle continued traveling southwest, missing the front gas pumps, where it impacted the front of the store at a relatively high rate of speed before smashing into the Fed Ex mailbox and the adjacent propane tank storage area and coming to rest.

Rescue workers extricated Shoop from the vehicle and he was transported by Scotland County Ambulance Service to Scotland County Memorial Hospital in Memphis.

The impact of the crash shattered a number of windows and destroyed an entire section of the front wall, located just west of the main entrance to the store.

Normally that is the area where customers line up to check out. However storeowner Gary Young indicated the last customer had just paid and exited the building from the west doorway, avoiding the danger.

The crash threw glass from the front windows across the store counter. But again, the store employees had just left that area after helping the customer and returned to the adjoining kitchen area, avoiding the danger.

“This definitely could have been a lot worse,” said Scotland County volunteer fireman Bryan Whitney. “If it had happened during the lunch hour when the store is really busy, or if someone had been filling their vehicle at the gas pump.”

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