DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A driver witnessed a serious crash while on her normal route along Hickory Tree Road in Davidson County.
A highway patrol trooper tells FOX8 an impaired driver struck a gas pump, then plowed into the Circle C Mart and Smoke Shop.
The flames and smoke captured Jordynn Hastings’ attention.
“I saw it and couldn’t believe it at first,” she said.
She immediately dialed 911. Moments later she saw a man walking out of the flames which engulfed the gas station early Saturday morning.
“He got in the driver seat, and then got out the driver seat into the seat behind the driver seat, he was rummaging around. That’s when I started yelling like, ‘get away from there, it’s going to explode.’ He got to the corner of the parking lot, and I just ran across the road, grabbed his arm, and pulled him across, because he was very intoxicated,” Hastings said.
Firefighters and the Highway Patrol received several calls reporting a truck crashed into the building.
The investigation revealed the driver, 25-year-old Caleb Small, hit a gas pump, then slammed into the business.
Gasoline from the fuel pump ignited, causing the fire.
“It was tremendously hot. You think by it being 28 degrees out you couldn’t get sweaty, I was sweating standing in this spot, this fire was so hot and scary,” Hastings said.
Troopers charged Small with DWI and failure to maintain the lane.
“He was saying, ‘My dad is going to kill me,’ because it was his dad’s truck he got into the accident with. So, he called his parents and everything, but he was so intoxicated you can tell,” Hastings said.
She says what happened should remind everyone of the dangers of drinking and driving.
She’s happy no one died or was seriously injured, and that she could react quickly.
“I got to save him, I don’t want to be the person to just drive by or something like that, I want to be that person to save someone’s life,” she said.
As the holidays approach, remember there are rideshare services to get you home safely if you are out drinking — or have a friend or family member you can call.
Getting behind the wheel is just not worth it.
FOX8 did try to speak to the owners of this business to find out what’s next. They declined to comment.