ROGERSVILLE — A 34-year-old man who drove his truck through the rear of a physical therapy business Wednesday afternoon reportedly told police he had dropped his cell phone and was reaching for it shortly before the crash.
Police said the pickup was westbound on 11-W approaching the Park Boulevard intersection when it veered across the eastbound lanes, down a steep embankment and into the back of Cherokee Physical Therapy.
The driver, whose name wasn’t released, was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center after being extricated from the wreckage.
No one inside the business was injured, although co-owner Jeff Ringley told the Times News a patient was about 20 feet from the location where the truck entered the building.
“He got scared a little bit,” Ringley said.
“We were working in there and we had a patient in the back. And he said, ‘Hey, I think you had a shelf fall,’ ” Ringley said. “We came back through and the wall was crashed in through the back side, and stuff is everywhere. It smelled like burnt rubber in the building, and we thought, ‘Did somebody hit the building?’ Sure enough, we walked outside and saw that someone did.”
Ringley added, “There’s three sections of the building, and everybody heard it. It was really loud, and it lasted for more than a few seconds. You could hear stuff fall.”
Police are investigating the cause of the crash, and a blood draw from the driver was requested.
Among the agencies that responded to the scene were the Rogersville Police Department, Rogersville Fire Department, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Hawkins County Rescue Squad, Hawkins County EMA, Hawkins County EMS and Holston Electric Cooperative.