by Roger S. Lucas
A runaway truck early Monday morning almost made Jack’s 4-Corners Union 76 & Mini Mart a drive-in as it crashed its way through the southwest corner of the building.
The driver, Clifford Scott Taylor of Mountain Home, Idaho, told police that he had parked his semi tractor-trailer near the car wash and went to the station to purchase some breakfast and a drink; as he was paying his bill, the truck crashed through the building.
Taylor said he parked the truck in neutral with the brakes set, but apparently the brakes didn’t hold.
The trailer contained one of the featured rides of the carnival that had just been completed on Saturday at North Dam Park, part of the Colorama Festival. The rig is owned by Paradise Amusements, an Idaho company, which has a long-standing record of furnishing the carnival for the annual celebration.
The accident was reported at 6:25 a.m.
Kathy McQuown, who was clerking at the station at the time, said at first she thought it was an earthquake and then glass and debris started flying.
No one was injured as a result of the accident, but the police report stated that Kenneth Cornett Sr. was up pouring himself a cup of coffee and luckily escaped harm. The truck’s entire front rested inside the building and crushed the area where Cornett usually sits.
Store owner Jack Madsen stated that glass and debris flew all over the inside of the station. He said that everything would have to be discarded because of the glass.
Madsen said he hoped to get the station back in operation by Tuesday noon, but wasn’t too optimistic about that.
An early estimate of structural damage was set at $35,000. Madsen said that this figure is way low and doesn’t take into account that the window frames on that side of the building were bent.
He had no estimate of the loss inside the store which included displays, tables, and other items, plus the food, not to mention loss of business.
The tractor-trailer was pulled from the building after workers shored up the structure.
The station had another scare back on April 29, another Monday, when a car caught fire in one of the mechanic bays. That fire was quickly extinguished, but the vehicle was lost and there was some damage to tools.