ONTARIO, Ohio – Just before 10 a.m. Wednesday, Brent Griffith says he was at the Circle K on Park Avenue West in Ontario working his sales job for a beverage company when he heard a loud noise behind him.
“My back was to the door when all of a sudden it was just a loud. I mean, it just sounded like an explosion,” Griffith said.
He turned to see a pickup truck crashing through the front of the building and coming directly at him.
“When I turned around, I could see the front end of an F-150. It just felt like it was 15 feet from me and it was barreling down,” Griffith said.
Security video shows the truck colliding with shelves in the store. A man near the front of the store jumps out of the way.
Another man, who had momentarily walked out of the picture, walks back in just before the truck crashes into the store and is caught in the pile of debris.
“The gentleman that actually got hit by the truck, I don’t know how to say this, rode on top of all the debris and that’s what kept him from being drug underneath the truck,” said Ontario Police Chief Tom Hill, who was among the first to arrive.
“And when I got in there, I was able to look past the truck. And we saw a blood trail and so our concern, obviously, was that somebody at that point had been injured and we were worried that they maybe they were still trapped under the vehicle,” Hill said.
Somehow everyone was able to get out of the way.
One customer suffered an injury to his arm. Griffith said he has some cuts and his leg was pinched by the debris, but there were no serious injuries.
Hill said he is grateful for the people in the store who rushed to help the driver of the truck.
Police said she suffered a medical emergency and does not remember any of it.
Even after the debris stopped the truck, just short of crushing Griffith, the driver’s foot was still on the accelerator. The wheels were still spinning on the floor of the convenience store.
“At first, I didn’t know that the car was still wanting to move forward, but you could just hear the engine try to go forward it wanted to go further,” Griffith said. “When I watch the video, I’m thinking, I was in the right place at the right time. Somebody was watching over me because you look at the video, I should have been hurt a lot worse than I was.”
“I think about first, of all how lucky we are, how blessed we are that we didn’t have anybody seriously injured. I think about how much worse it could have been and those are the things that cross my mind,” Hill said.