Damage serious after SUV strikes Coupeville Linds
By JUSTIN BURNETT
South Whidbey Record Island County
July 13, 2012 · Updated 3:56 PM
A portion of Linds Pharmacy in Coupeville was closed to the public for several days this week because of damage it sustained from a parking SUV.
The accident occurred Wednesday morning and prompted authorities to close about half the store out of concern for the building’s structural stability. Although the damaged wall has since been partially repaired, the store is being required to get the OK of a professional structural engineer before reopening the closed section.
“We’re having someone come out today,” said Store Manager Adam Lind, on Friday morning. “Hopefully we’ll be opening up this afternoon.”
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 Lind. 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 recalled.
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 of the office 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 strung to isolate the area.
Unfortunately, that represented 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.
By Friday, Lind estimated the loss of sales in the hundreds of dollars. He could not yet say how much the damage to the building will run but hopes everything will be covered by insurance companies.
On the day of the collision, Griffin said he didn’t think the building was in danger of coming down but recommended that people stay out of the area until a girder truss that supported that part of the building was either repaired or secured.
Lind had contractors show up that day to conduct structural repairs. Coupeville Building Inspector Bob Snyder was able to look at the building Thursday. Just to be sure everything is OK, he required a professional analysis.
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.”
Contact South Whidbey Record Island County Justin Burnett at email@example.com.