It could have been much worse

It was a quiet Friday afternoon when Dave Zeiger, manager of Richfield Auto Parts, heard a loud “boom” and instinct had him dart away from the main counter of Richfield Auto Parts. He was right in line with a GMC pickup truck barreling through the front window of the store.

Two other employees and a customer were also in the store. No one was hurt by the impact.

The driver, 72-year-old Gary Searle of Medina, apparently hit the wrong pedal when he was trying to stop.

Zeiger said a large display of washer fluids might have acted to help absorb some of the impact before the truck struck the main counter.

Richfield Police vacated the parts store as well as Richfield Auto Center in the connecting building, and contacted utility companies to turn off the gas and electricity.  Richfield EMTs checked out Searle for injuries.

Zeiger said the retail part of the business will be closed indefinitely while the store front, windows and interior of the store are replaced. He said when the utilities are turned back on, he will try to operate the wholesale part of Richfield Auto Parts using the back entrance to the building.

He summarized, “It could have been a lot worse.”

The GMC truck stopped just as it hit the front counter of the store, where manager Dave Zeiger and customers had been standing. Photo submitted.

Photo (main/above): A GMC truck plowed through the front window and wall of Richfield Auto Parts on Dec. 8. Although the store sustained considerable damage, no one was hurt. Photo submitted.