JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new cell phone video given to Action News Jax shows the moments immediately after a sand truck plowed through Bennett’s Ace Hardware on Jacksonville’s Westside Friday.
Nicholas McDonald and his friend were outside at a neighboring house when they heard the crash near the corner of Beaver St. and Cahoon Rd.
“We heard a loud bang and I looked up and saw dust. I was like, ‘Let’s go check that out and make sure everyone is okay,’” he said. “When we came around the corner, there’s probably 10 to 15 people just standing there with their phones out recording.”
But McDonald quickly jumped into action to help the driver and others inside the store.
Cell phone video he captured shows debris scattered.
“It looked like a tornado hit the place,” McDonald said.
He started calling out to see if anyone needed help.
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue also arrived on the scene just moments after.
Firefighters say five people in total were taken to the hospital including two children, the driver of the truck and the two owners inside the store.
Bennett’s Ace Hardware is owned by the Bennett family, which is well-known in the Marietta community.
“I just hope their family is okay, and I hope everyone is doing okay,” McDonald said.
He was able to get debris off one of the co-owners, Keith Bennett. Neighbors said Dennis Bennet was also hurt in the crash.
The building at 8080 Beaver St. was condemned by the City of Jacksonville as of Tuesday and is subject to demolition.
Action News Jax reported Monday that investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash and piecing together surveillance footage.
Action News Jax’s Law and Safety expert Dale Carson said an accident with serious bodily injury can be any number of charges.
“If the person dies, it can be manslaughter,” he said.
Carson added that the investigation begins with looking at the final resting positions of the vehicles involved.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has not yet released its findings in the investigation.
©2022 Cox Media Group