Knightdale convenience store hit by car

December 22, 2011 9:10:36 AM PST
Dramatic surveillance video captured the very second a suspected drunken driver plowed into the side of a Wake County convenience store. The owners say the crash could have been a catastrophe.

It happened at the Exxon gas station on Hodge Road at U.S. Highway 64 in Knightdale late Tuesday evening.

"We've had a lot of customers that live over here in their neighborhood and they were like it sounded like a bomb went off," said store owner Andrea Sloan.

Surveillance video shows exactly what they heard at the Eagle Express convenience store. A commercial grade pick-up truck pushed a metal dumpster through a wall and into a beer cooler.

"He was apparently going about 60 miles an hour around this sharp curve and obviously did not make the curve," said Sloan.

Sloan says it happened during a shift-change while at least one customer was inside.

"It could have been catastrophic because they could have been stocking the beer or, I mean, 10:30 is not that late for people to not be buying beer," said Sloan. "So, I mean thank God nobody got hurt."

The driver, who caused $50,000 worth of damage was still able to speed off and go home where troopers eventually arrested him.

Sloan says he was intoxicated.

"Yes, he didn't realize what he hit," said Sloan. "He [the police] had to actually bring him back to show him what he had done."

Sloan believes it will take a couple of months to repair the damage to the store.

The driver was later identified as 48-year-old Richard Lester Watkins of Rolesville Road, Wendell. He was charged with DWI, hit and run, and driving with a revoked license. Police say he also didn't have insurance.

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