Truck crashes into church, home

April 7, 2008 2:32:30 PM PDT
A Harnett County church congregation is counting its blessing after a truck crashed into the building without injuring anyone.

State Troopers say the truck was carrying a load of lumber to Dunn, when the driver apparently started coughing and blacked out.

The truck then ran off the road, smashed into a brand new church van, then ripped off the front steps of the Zion Temple Church of God. Then it plowed into a house next door, crashing into one of the homeowner, Arthur Johnson's cars and demolished part of the front of the home.

State Troopers cited the truck driver, Ells Atkins.

One of the truck's fuel tanks was ripped off, spilling about 50 gallons of diesel fuel.

The church pastor, Jeanette Barnes, said tears came to her eyes when she saw the damage to her church.

"Thank God we were not inside, I realize it could have been yesterday when we had service, but it was today and nobody was inside," Barnes said.

She says they plan to repair the damage to the church building. Until then, the church has been condemned.

Johnson is not sure when he will be allowed back into his home.


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