SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Heather Taylor has seen plenty of crashes from her business at the intersection of 41st Street and Minnesota Avenue.
None of those crashes compare to the one that happened in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 31. Taylor said she woke up to a phone call at 2:30 am from her security company that manages the alarm system.
“They had notified the police that there was a break-in,” Taylor told KELOLAND News. “Then we realized that it was so much more than that.”
What happened was captured on Taylor’s security cameras – a fiery crash caused by a speeding car that crashed into a gas pump and flew into the front doors of Taylor’s Pantry. Taylor posted the security video on her business’s Facebook page.
You can view photos from the scene after the crash in the slideshow below.
Taylor said she and her sister raced to get to the store.
“We knew that it was a pretty serious deal,” Taylor said. “I’m just very happy that our fire suppression system worked. It could have been a lot worse than it actually was.”
Taylor said new technology with gas pumps has a suppression valve system that keeps the flames above ground and doesn’t affect the gas tanks underground. While she’ll be down a gas pump for at least the next six to eight weeks, customers were able to pump gas at other pumps by 8 am the morning of the crash.
“Kudos to our locally owned businesses that really stepped up to the plate and helped us out,” Taylor said. “The Sioux Falls Fire Department and the police department were amazing as well.”
On Monday, police announced that 26-year-old Jeremiah Hudson was arrested in Brandon and charged with DWI, hit and run and several drug charges. Taylor said Hudson, who ran away right after the crash, is lucky to be alive.
“The store actually stopped him versus something else,” Taylor said. “If he had gone a little bit in his trajectory further to the north, he would have run through another pump, had another explosion and maybe wouldn’t have come through that particular one.”
Taylor said she has more meetings with insurance adjusters, but she’s thinking the damage will be close to $100,000. She specifically thanked G&D Viking Glass and Redi Towing for helping to fix and clean up her store after the crash.
She said she’s seen the importance of having security cameras and teaching kids about the dangers of speeding.
“I just want people to show their kids this video and say, ‘This is a joyride or what potentially was a joyride that went extremely badly.’ He could have lost his life and it’s mind-blowing to me,” Taylor said. “I’ve shown it to my kids. This is stuff you just can’t do. What turns out to be a fun evening with friends can go horribly wrong when you make bad choices.”