The man who was working inside Discount Seafood when a Coca-Cola tractor-trailer hit the building spoke to News4Jax on Thursday night.
Robert Jones was transported to the hospital with minor injuries Wednesday and released late Wednesday night. He told News4Jax he is still in shock over what happened.
Jones said he’s thankful he heard the truck coming because it gave him a chance to get away from it. Jones explained that if he hadn’t moved, he would have been just five yards away from where the truck crashed into the building.
“I was the only one in the building at the time, and the driver of the Coca-Cola truck,” said Jones (pictured).
Wearing a neck brace, Jones said that he is in some pain, but he is thankful that for the most part he is OK. Jones said Wednesday’s accident could have easily cost him his life.
“I started to run, and it came through the walls, and stuff hit me as I was running," Jones said. "I fell, fell to the floor. Evidently the fish counter stopped the truck. By the time I realized it and got up, I seen the guy, I seen the truck inside the building.”
Police said the driver of the Coca-Cola truck crashed into the Discount Seafood building on West Beaver Street shortly after hitting a JTA bus. Overnight, the building was demolished for safety reasons.
Jones said he’s worked at the fish market for nearly 30 years.
"At one time we did more business than anybody in Jacksonville,” said Jones.
Jones said every day customers would line up for their food at the front of the store, but luckily, Wednesday night, no one else was around the store at the time of the accident. Jones said he couldn’t believe it when he saw the condition of the truck after the crash.
“I’m very thankful," Jones said. "Like I said, I just thank God that the driver made it, I made it and everybody was alright, and we didn’t have a customer standing there at the time.”
Although he is concerned that he’ll no longer have a job at the fish market because the building had to be demolished, he said his main focus right now is on recovering.
“I’ll just pray about it," Jones said. "I just think God will bless me, you know, one way or the other. My family will be alright. I believe that 100 percent."