Local News

Unmanned Tanker Slams Into Raleigh Drug Store

Posted April 3, 2007 7:16 a.m. EDT
Updated April 4, 2007 6:52 a.m. EDT

— The idea of a drive-thru pharmacy took on a whole new meaning in North Raleigh Tuesday morning, when a tanker truck rolled across six lanes of Glenwood Avenue and crashed into the window of a CVS Pharmacy at Millbrook Road.

The truck had been parked at a nearby Shell gas station when it rolled across the highway, dodging utility poles and several signs before smashing into the CVS store. Damage to the store was estimated at $100,000.

The tanker truck, loaded with gasoline, took out a brick wall and shattered the front door. But it stopped short of the cosmetics aisle. The store, which hadn’t opened for the day, was empty and no one was injured.

Police said the trucker, who drives for Huffman Oil Company, went inside the station to get a meter reading before unloading the fuel. According to police, the trucker did not engage the brake or put the vehicle into gear. When the trucker came back out, his truck was in the drug store. None of the gasoline in the trailer leaked out, police said.

"We were very lucky this morning,” said Raleigh Police Capt. Terrie Hardy. “There was light traffic due to spring break, and (it happened at) 6:20 in the morning."

CVS trucker Mike Shiflett was driving from Virginia when he heard about this accident on the radio. He thought nothing of it until he made his first stop.

"The manager of this store, his wife came in and said 'No, there's a truck that run into the CVS and it'll probably be a long time before you make a delivery,’” Shiflett said.

By early afternoon, a wrecker pulled the rig out from beneath the store’s "Welcome" sign. A CVS spokesperson says it's not clear when the store will be ready to re-open.