Truck smashes into Iowa Wal-Mart store killing 3 people

ambulance generic

PELLA, Iowa — A pickup truck smashed through the front doors of an Iowa Wal-Mart store on Thursday, killing three people and scattering merchandise on the floor before it came to a stop at the fresh produce section in what authorities believe was a tragic accident.

A photograph posted by the Des Moines Register showed the pickup resting near a sign that said “Fresh Produce,” with boxes and other debris behind it. Witnesses said the truck entered through the front doors on the grocery portion of the store and came to a rest after hitting a merchandise display near the produce section.

“At this time, we don’t have any reason to believe it was intentional,” said Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig, who was at the scene of the crash. Ludwig said officials are investigating all possible scenarios.

The crash in Pella, Iowa, just before 10 a.m. killed three people — all outside the vehicle — and injured the driver and another person, Ludwig said. None of those killed or injured were children.

Authorities had not released the identities of those involved by early Thursday afternoon as officials worked to inform family members of the casualties. Ludwig said he did not have the medical conditions of those hurt.

Witnesses told Knoxville, Iowa radio station KNIA/KRLS that the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

The store was evacuated and closed Thursday as law enforcement investigated.

An employee at the store, Judy Playle, of Leighton, told the Des Moines Register that the crash came as “a big shock” that left store employees terrified.

“It’s a family here,” Playle told the newspaper. “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone that works here, the man who drove through and his family.”

Wal-Mart management said in a statement: “We’re heartbroken by what appears to be a tragic accident.”

Pella — a city of 10,000 known for its Dutch roots and fully functional 1850s-style windmill — is 38 miles southeast of Des Moines.

 

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s