The driver of a Coca-Cola tractor-trailer that crashed into a seafood market Wednesday afternoon said a wasp flew into the cab of his truck, causing him to lose control, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Calvin Hollis was cited for careless driving. Investigators said he was heading west in the 1400 block of West Beaver Street at Rushing Street in New Town just after 5 p.m.
They said a Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus was stopping in the right lane to let off passengers. The big rig then swerved from the left lane and struck the rear driver side of the bus, continued west and drove into Discount Seafood.
Investigators noted the windows of the big rig were rolled up when they arrived.
Two adults and a teen on the bus and two people in the building were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. The driver of the bus was not hurt. There were 14 people on the bus at the time.
DeWayne Rivers was driving by when the accident happened and stopped to help.
“I was amazed the way the truck looked to see him get out of that truck making it out alive,” Rivers said.
The building was demolished early Thursday morning.
Officials said the building was unstable after the semi was removed and began to collapse. Crews demolished the building for the safety of the public.
Discount Seafood housed a seafood market downstairs and apartments that were under renovation upstairs.
"They said they had just caught fresh fish and they had it, everything in the window saying what the new specials and everything, and then you come by later and the building is -- well, the building's gone. It's pretty sad," said Mack Moreland.
People were rummaging through the debris all day, taking scrap material from what city inspectors said is a dangerous site.
Many of the neighbors said the Discount Seafood was a New Town landmark, serving the community for decades.
"Well, it's one of the buildings that's been there for a while and people always come in, they always have fresh fish for people. So that's why it's sad," Moreland said. "It's one place around here that's not here anymore. You don't have to go way across town. You could always just come, ride a bike to it and get your fish. Plus, it's local. So that's why it's so important."
Throughout the morning, neighbors continued to walk by the rubble from the demolition, wondering what's next for the Discount Seafood market.
"It's weird seeing it like that, that's what's bad," Moreland said. "Plus, now what are they going to do for a living? You can't just go buy another building. I don't know if they had insurance or anything, so maybe the two companies that are involved with the accident, maybe they can help them relocate or help them find another building or something."
The seafood market's owner said he's not sure yet what the future of Discount Seafood looks like.
Hollis has four citations in Duval County, three for speeding and one for careless driving. He also has citations in Alachua and Orange counties, two of which were the result of crashes.
"Our primary concern is the well-being of those involved in this accident," Coca-Cola said in a statement. "A Coca-Cola vehicle was involved in a two-vehicle accident at Beaver St. and N. Myrtle Ave. in Jacksonville. Local authorities responded to the scene. We are providing complete cooperation to the authorities as they investigate this incident."