Clovis businessman Lynn Berry had just entered Lowe’s Grocery and was walking east in front of the cash registers when all of a sudden cans, bottles, six packs and cases of beer came off the south wall of the liquor portion of the grocery store.
“It was unbelievable,” said Berry. “My first thought was ‘earthquake’. There was a lady in there at the time and beer cans were going all around her and the first thing she said was, ‘I didn’t do it.’” What did do it was a Buick van driven by an elderly woman who according to Lt. Charles Newman, apparently lost control of her vehicle. “Probably her foot slipped off the break and hit the gas, but that’s still under investigation,” said Newman about the incident.
At that point the car apparently lurched forward smashing first into a bicycle leaning against the wall outside the liquor room and second into the wall itself creating a hole in the Lowe’s wall roughly six feet across and four feet high. The impact even sent cracks up to the roof of the grocery store located in the 200 block of West Route 66 Blvd.
The woman driving the vehicle was treated at the scene and then transported to Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital by ambulance. “The one I really felt sorry for though was the guy with the bicycle,” said Berry about the man who had stepped away from his two wheeled transportation briefly after leaving the store. “He looked miserable. He had his groceries hanging from his handle bars and they got smashed and the bicycle was smashed. He looked so miserable. He just left carrying his bicycle and no one paid any attention to him.”
Lowe’s manager Steve Brown was also looking a bit dejected following the car/building interaction. Brown said he was hesitant to make any official statement but as his employees were mopping up gallons of beer from the floor of the liquor portion of the store he did manage a few comments. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It certainly is a mess.”
By Friday a replacement wall was in place.
Brown said that the management of Lowe’s worked as fast as possible getting the new wall up.
“We wanted to make it safe as quickly as possible,” said Brown “We’re also very happy on one was hurt badly.”