ELLSWORTH, Maine — The local Dollar Tree store where a pickup truck crashed through the front entrance Monday has approximately $200,000 worth of damage, according to police.
The store will remain closed Tuesday while structural repairs to the building are completed, police said.
The crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. Monday when Joseph Lafrance, 80, of Ellsworth, attempted to park his 2022 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck outside the business, police said. Instead of coming to rest in a parking space, the truck sped into the front driver’s side door of a parked 2017 Toyota RAV4 and then careened all the way through the glass front doors of Dollar Tree, coming to a stop several feet inside the building.
Five people inside the store were hurt when the truck smashed into the store’s checkout lanes, police said. Lafrance and his passenger, Mary Jordan, 75, also of Ellsworth, each were checked by emergency medical technicians for possible minor injuries, according to a police accident report.
Evelyn Wehrfritz, the owner of the Toyota, was not among the injured.
She told television station WABI that she was inside the store when she heard “a horrible noise.” She thought at first that maybe some boxes had fallen to the ground.
“I heard screaming and hollering, and I went over and looked, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, there’s a truck in here.’ And there was smoke coming in,” she told the station.
People inside the store who were injured are Vicki Adamo, 50, of Trenton; Raymond Daley, 61, of Sullivan; Astor Gillis, 74, of Ellsworth; Ashley Keefe, 28, of Ellsworth; and Diane Martin, 67, of Sullivan, according to the accident report. None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.
Police said they were trying to determine if the crash was caused by a mechanical malfunction or operator error. The crash was still under investigation on Tuesday, they said.