15-year-old driver cut in front of sand truck that crashed into Westside Ace Hardware, report says

Condemnation order shows crashed truck is holding up building

A 15-year-old girl was driving a car that cut in front of a sand truck and collided with the semi before the truck plowed into Bennett’s Ace Hardware on Jacksonville’s Westside last week, according to a crash report obtained Thursday by News4JAX.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 15-year-old girl was driving a car that cut in front of a sand truck and collided with the semi before the truck plowed into Bennett’s Ace Hardware on Jacksonville’s Westside last week, according to a crash report obtained Thursday by News4JAX.

The teen was cited for failure to yield and a learner’s permit violation, the report said.

The report also showed that an 11-year-old girl was a passenger in the car.

According to the report, the two girls were among five people taken to hospitals after the wreck Friday. Baptist Health told News4JAX on Thursday that the two girls have been discharged from the hospital.

Video from a dash-mounted camera onboard the sand truck captured the moment the truck collided with the car and then barreled into the hardware store. In the video, the truck is seen driving along West Beaver Street, crossing the intersection of Cahoon Street, with a green light. The truck then collides with the car, which had entered the intersection, before veering off to the right and plowing into the store.

An additional video from a nearby store also shows the crash. Seconds later, people ran toward the scene.

“I was shocked. Astonishing. A loss for words really,” said James Walker.

Walker said he’s been going to Bennett’s Ace Hardware all of his life.

“It’s been a mainstay part of this neighborhood for years,” he said.

Meanwhile, the sand truck that crashed into Bennett’s Ace Hardware is holding up the building, which is unsafe for human habitation, according to the condemnation order that News4JAX obtained Thursday.

The condemnation report showed that the building on West Beaver Street was inspected Friday, Saturday and Tuesday and is still unsafe but no longer an emergency.

Inspectors set a follow-up inspection for Feb. 22.

It’s uncertain when the crashed semitruck will be removed. It remains in the building behind makeshift wooden barriers, which were put in place hours after the incident.

An investigator who was at the scene of the crash said the building was believed to be a total loss.

“No trespassing signs” have been added outside the building. There’s also a red sign that reads “condemned.”

And on Thursday, insurance representatives could be seen taking pictures of the outside of the building. When News4JAX tried to speak with them, they did not want to comment.

Walker said he’s watching and waiting for this staple in his community to be rebuilt.

“I look forward to seeing them open the store again,” he said.


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