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SUV drives into Coupeville pharmacy, damage significant

Island County Building Official Andy Griffin looks up at Linds Pharmacy in Coupeville after the driver of a SUV accidentally smashed into the business. He has closed that part of the store until repairs can be made. - Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times
Island County Building Official Andy Griffin looks up at Linds Pharmacy in Coupeville after the driver of a SUV accidentally smashed into the business. He has closed that part of the store until repairs can be made.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times

An SUV that collided with the front of Linds Pharmacy in Coupeville this morning has prompted an Island County building official to close about half of the store for safety concerns.

According to Coupeville Marshal Lance Davenport, the accident occurred at about 10:55 a.m. when a Coupeville woman lost control of her 2000 Nissan Pathfinder and crashed into the front of the building.

The vehicle jumped the curb and struck the storefront with enough force to partially push in the wall and leave doubts about the structural integrity of that part of the building.

Although no one was hurt, it scared the bejeezus out of Adam Lind, the store’s manager. He was walking nearby the impact point at the time of the collision.

“At first I though it was an earthquake, but then I looked over and saw the wall coming down and the front of a Nissan Pathfinder,” Lind said.

Island County Building Official Andy Griffin was called in to inspect the building. While the job would normally fall to Coupeville’s official, he is out today and Griffin was asked to fill in.

His inspection did not result in good news for the business.

“From the tape on, it needs to stay closed,” said Griffin, in reference to yellow tape that had been erected to isolate the area.

Unfortunately, that represents about half the store and all of pharmacy’s Hallmark card section. Card sales make up a big part of the business, Lind said.

“We sell a lot of cards,” he said.

Griffin said he doesn’t think the building is in danger of coming down but until a girder truss is repaired or secured, he is recommending that people stay out of the area.

Lind said contractors are already on their way and he is hoping the repairs can be done soon.

The driver, identified as Carol Franklin, declined to comment. However, she did say that she was not wearing the best shoes for driving and that her foot slipped off the brake pedal.

Davenport said he does not believe excessive speed was a factor in the accident, despite the destroyed wall.

“It’s a good size vehicle,” the marshal said. “It doesn’t take a whole lot of force to do that kind of damage.”

 

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