Injured owner back to work after car crashes into store, trapping her

Published: Aug. 9, 2017 at 11:59 AM EDT
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The co-owner of a store who was injured after after a car plowed into it is helping to clean up the mess a day later.

D&L Store/Abbotts Hardware on Highway 11, south of Grifton, remains closed today.

Around 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, troopers say Wilson Barnett ran his car into the side of the business. The Highway Patrol believes the 28-year-old man had a medical problem that caused him to run off the road, hit a porch and then run into the store.

Larry Abbott, who owns the business with his wife, says she was alone in the store at the time. Dell Abbott was trapped under the debris and couldn't get out without the help of others.

Abbott says his wife was bruised up and had to get a few stitches. "She's a real trooper," Abbott said of his wife who is back today in the store.

The car ended up in the couple's office, where they are often working. "If we had been in there, it would have been terrible, terrible," said Larry Abbott.

The crash caused major damage to one end of the building and the Abbotts don't exactly know when they might be able to reopen.

The Highway Patrol says there will be no charges in the case because it was caused by a medical issue.

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Troopers say a driver may have had some type of medical problem that caused his car to run off the highway, ending up inside a Lenoir County store this morning.

It happened around 11:25 a.m. at D&L Store/Abbotts Hardware on Highway 11 south of Grifton.

A witness tells WITN's Anna Phillips that the car was heading north on Highway 11 when it sped by her, ran off the road and into the side of the store. The vehicle ended up completely inside the building.

Trooper Gary Ipock says Wilson Barnett, 28, of Deep Run, was driving the car, while his mother was a passenger. Both he and Debra Barnett were taken to Vidant Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

A woman in the store was taken to the hospital as well in a private vehicle after complaining she felt sore.

The Highway Patrol says the car crossed the median, ran across the front yard of a home, and struck the home's front porch before hitting the side of the store.

The car hit the power panel inside the store, so rescue crews had to get the power shut off to the business before they could get to the son and mother in the car.

Because of the loss of power, the store will be closed for a time.

Trooper Ipock says no charges have yet been filed in the crash.