Car crashes through Wood River grocery store, causing major damage
A 22-year-old man who police say did not have a driver's license crashed into a Wood River store Sunday afternoon, causing extensive damage.
Don Stevens, owner of the Fruit Stand specialty grocery store on Edwardsville Road and George Street, said it appears the driver lost control of the red Chevy before driving straight through the front door of the business.
The man, Latarkus L. Cutler of Wood River, was driving eastbound on Edwardsville Road at 3 p.m. and seemed to intend to turn onto a side street, the Alton Telegraph reported. Instead, he drove straight through the parking lot, into the building's porch and crashed into the counter of the store, Stevens said.
"The car was completely inside the building. Once he got in here, he tried to back out but couldn't," Stevens said. "Luckily, nobody was hurt."
Stevens said the store is closed on Sundays so nobody was in the building at the time.
"If we were open, we would have had at least one employee behind this counter," he said. "It was right through the middle of the building."
Stevens said the crash caused extensive damage, wiping out everything on the front porch and merchandise inside the store.
"We lost several thousand dollars worth of merchandise. The building (damage) is in the tens of thousands," he said.
Wood River Police do not think the driver was intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics, according to the Alton Telegraph. He did not appear to have major injuries.
Cutler of the 300 block of Pershing Avenue, Wood River, was cited for not having a valid driver’s license and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, the Alton Telegraph reported.
Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6