UPDATE: Tire Store Still Closed after Vehicle Crashes Through, Plans to Reopen Soon

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 4/16/14 @ 6 p.m.
BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Barboursville police say they plan on filing charges against the man accused of crashing his vehicle into National Tire & Battery near the Huntington Mall.

Investigators say it all started Monday when officers were called to the mall after receiving reports of a man running around causing problems in the parking lot.

"Our officers were dispatched to the scene of a man delusional at the mall," Barboursville Police Detective Greg Lucas said. "He was threatening people, threatening to blow up the place, and threatening to shoot people. He was also chasing people around the parking lot and beating on cars."

But when police tried to approach the suspect, they say he jumped in his car, speeding recklessly across the Huntington Mall parking lot, before punching the gas and losing control.

"He increased his speed on mall road," Lucas said, "failed to negotiate the curve by National Tire & Battery. {His vehicle} jumped the curve, hit a car and went through the office of NTB."

Officers believe the suspect slammed into the business going 60 to 70 miles per hour.

"A lot of rubble," Lucas said. "Looked like an earthquake. The wall was totally destroyed. Bricks and cinder blocks laying everywhere."

Police say three employees were inside when the car crashed through.

"It could have been much worse," Lucas said. "By the grace of god these individuals escaped with their lives. They were in the building at the time the car went through the wall and just narrowly escaped."

Investigators thought the suspect may have been drunk or high behind the wheel, but now believe mental health may have played a big role in the entire situation.

"After further investigation, talking with family members and close acquaintances to this individual, there is a possibility were finding out that this individual was recently diagnosed with mental illness," Lucas said.

Officers say the suspect is now in some sort of mental health facility. They do plan on filing charges against him. However, it will be up to the court to decide whether he's competent to stand trial.

The manager of NTB says he hopes to have the store open by Thursday. Inspectors were still checking out the structural stability of the building Wednesday. The company says no employees had to go without a paycheck while the business was closed. Company officials were able to move the workers to other store locations while repairs are being made.

ORIGINAL STORY 4/14/14 @ 2:29 p.m.
BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man was arrested Monday after police say he crashed into a tire and battery store in Barboursville.

Barboursville Police tell WSAZ.com that a man was causing issues in the Huntington Mall and appeared to be under the influence. The man was kicked out of the mall, and a short time later, crashed his vehicle into NTB Tire and Service Center.

Police say the vehicle went through the building, which left the business with a gaping hole.

The store is located along Mall Road in the mall complex. Mall Road was closed during the investigation and cleanup.

The man was taken into custody. His name and charges have not been released.

According to a manager at the store, three people who were inside the building when the crash happened were taken to the hospital. There's no word on the extent of their injuries.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

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