Man Faces DUI Charges after Crashing into Laundromat

WEST HAMLIN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The owner of a laundromat in Lincoln County has a big mess to clean up after police say a drunk driver crashed his truck into the building.

It caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to Jefferson Coin Laundry in West Hamlin, but insurance will pay for that. It's the money being lost every day by not being open that's causing problems for the owner and a lot of customers.

“It was a pretty little laundromat until that happened,” owner Jim Jefferson said.

Jefferson started the business 27 years ago. It was destroyed Sunday in a matter of seconds.

“Now we gotta put up with estimates and waiting,” Jefferson said.

Police say the man behind the wheel was Jackie Ray, 52. According to the criminal complaint, Ray said his accelerator got stuck. Police say he had been drinking to the point where he couldn't stand up to take the sobriety test.

Ray is now facing a laundry list of charges including second-offense DUI, aggravated DUI, driving revoked for DUI, reckless driving and failing to carry a West Virginia operators.

“This is where we were doing our laundry,” Teresa Vasquez, a former customer, said.

Vasquez did her laundry there for years. She understands how tough this will be on current customers; that's because it's the only laundromat in Lincoln County.

“They're gonna either have to borrow somebody's washer and dryer, or take their laundry to Huntington or do it by hand,” Vasquez said.

As for Jefferson, he's losing about $150 day, and it could take a month or two before he reopens.

“I just hope he realizes how much damage he caused just by drinking beer,” Jefferson said. “He could have done it at home and not caused this problem.”

Ray remains in the Western Regional Jail where bond has been set at $15,000.

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