Lucama, N.C. — A truck driver was slightly injured Friday morning after he blacked out and crashed the vehicle into a convenience store off U.S. 301 in Lucama, authorities said.
A female clerk working inside Aycock’s Crossing Gas and Grocery escaped unhurt, but the store was heavily damaged.
The crash happened about 9 a.m. when the driver – identified as 72-year-old Shelton Campbell – lost control of the truck as he headed north on the highway and plowed into the store.
Campbell told State Highway Patrol troopers that he is diabetic and blacked out from low blood sugar before the crash. Troopers said no skids marks on the pavement show that brakes were not applied as the truck slammed into the front corner of the store. The impact also forced two parked cars into the building.
Campbell, who works for a Ryder truck rental company in Latta, S.C., was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released, troopers said. He was cited for failure to maintain a proper lane.
The crash was a close call for the clerk, who was on the opposite side of the store at the time, and owner Richard Nettey, who left the building shortly before the rig rammed it.
"I was doing some deposit paperwork. Normally, I stay behind do to the day-after paperwork...but something told me no," he said.
Nettey said he drove to Walmart to pick up a few groceries.
"As soon as I pulled into Walmart parking lot, I got a call from my wife saying a truck ran into my store," he said. "I couldn't believe it. I stopped what I was doing, turned around and came back."
The business is a family affair for the Netteys. Richard Nettey said his wife usually watches over their children – ages 3 and 2 – at the store, and the kids often play in the front area where the crash happened.
The children weren't at the store Friday because their mom was running late, Nettey said.
"We thought we was secure," he said. "But this happens and now I have to think about my security."