Members of the Ellsworth Fire Department stand outside Dollar Tree on Route 3 after a pickup truck crashed through the store's main entrance on Dec. 5, 2022. The store reopened Wednesday after being closed for more than seven weeks since the accident. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

More than seven weeks after a truck crashed through its front entrance, an Ellsworth store has reopened for business.

The Dollar Tree store, located next to Marden’s on Route 3, reopened on Wednesday, a store clerk said. It had been closed since Dec. 5, when an Ellsworth man accidentally drove his pickup truck through the glass front entrance and facade of the building, causing an estimated $200,000 worth of damage.

Joseph Lafrance, 80, was attempting to park his 2022 pickup truck in front of the store when it sped forward, colliding with another parked car before crashing into the building, Ellsworth police said. The truck was fully inside the business when it came to rest, several feet from where the front door had been. Five people inside the store were injured in the accident, though none suffered life-threatening injuries. Information about whether Lafrance is facing charges was unavailable Thursday.

The front entrance had to be totally rebuilt before the store could re-open.

A spokesperson for Dollar Tree did not return a message seeking comment on the store’s reopening.

Patrons of the business on Thursday cheered its re-opening on the Local Ellsworth page on Facebook.

“It was so nice to discover it was open,” one customer wrote. “All freshly stocked and clean. Lots of stuff.”

“Oh so happy,” another customer wrote. “No more going to Brewer!”

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....