Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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January 9, 2013

Cleanup in progress after crash decimates storefront

By CHRIS AGEE

The owner of a retail center in the 1100 block of S.E. 1st Street said restoration continued Tuesday on a shop significantly damaged in a crash the previous day.

Bill Terry said Optical Depot was the only retailer affected when a 1999 Lincoln Navigator crashed through its store front about 2:45 p.m. Monday. The other tenants were open shortly after the incident, he said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he said cleanup crews worked to repair damage to the interior of the building.

"We got the hole repaired, boarded up, and we're working on the inside to get it all cleaned out," he explained.

He said vehicles have struck the brick pillars in front of the building on a number of previous occasions, though he said this was the most damaging collision.

"We've had several of the pillars hit," he said. "It's always stopped them. It breaks the brick off and we replace it. This is the first time ever that they've cleared everything."

Terry said he expects Optical Depot will be closed the rest of the week for repairs, explaining crews are working hard "trying to get the interior all put back the way it was so they can operate."

Mineral Wells police reports indicate both occupants of the Lincoln – Lyndel Jorgensen Butcher, 68, and Danielle Butcher, 11 – escaped the crash without injury.

Two individuals inside the building were transported to Palo Pinto General Hospital to be treated for possible injuries, police added.

According to police, Carolyn Marie Warterfield, 71, was sitting with her back against the north wall of the office and when the vehicle crashed into the building was thrown against the south wall.

A second individual, Bianca Silva Lowe, 29, was sitting at the receptionist desk near the south wall of the building, facing north, police said. Reports indicate Lowe is pregnant and was transported along with Warterfield to PPGH via ambulance.

Police reports still list the "determining factors" as unknown. The investigation continues.

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