TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Brian Ramsey of R.D. Ramsey Ltd. tries to salvage what he can after a potato truck drove through the office portion of his family’s business in Carberry on Monday morning. Luckily, no one was at work when the crash happened. The entire office portion of the building was destroyed.
CARBERRY — Remarkably, no serious injuries have resulted from a crash in which a potato truck narrowly missed gas pumps and passed right through the offices of a service station/car dealership.
A potato truck sits amid debris from R.D. Ramsey Ltd. after colliding with the business in Carberry on Monday morning. Luckily, no one was at work when the crash happened. The entire office portion of the building was destroyed. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
The crash happened around 7:30 a.m. on Monday — had it happened half an hour later, Brian Ramsey’s mom, Clara, would have been at work in the family-run business and in the path of the runaway truck.
"She would have been sitting at her desk," he said, pointing toward a pile of debris that was once formed part of R.D. Ramsey Ltd. at the T-intersection formed by Wellwood Road and First Avenue.
RCMP said the empty potato truck was heading south on Wellwood Road at the time of the collision.
The speed limit heading south along the road is 50 km/h as vehicles approach the T-intersection and southbound traffic is required to halt at a stop sign.
It appears the truck travelled through the intersection with enough speed to pass through a portion of the business that contained offices in one side of the building, and out the other.
The struck portion of the building contained the offices for the business, which consists of a gas station, auto repair shop and used car dealership.
There was no one in the building at time of impact, and the truck narrowly missed the gas pumps in front.
Jeff Paddock, who works at the business as a mechanic, lives across the back lane. He heard the "boom" of the impact and felt it, too.
"Everything in my house there shook," said Paddock, who looked outside to see
a truck-sized hole right through the building where he works.
Brian Ramsey lives next door to the business. He slept through the crash, but was awoken by his daughter, who alerted him to trouble.
It was still dark when he emerged from his home barefoot and in pyjamas. At first, the off-duty paramedic could only make out steam rising from the wrecked truck’s engine compartment.
When he realized what had happened, he returned inside to put on shoes and don his paramedic gear.
Ramsey then went to check on the driver, but he had already exited the truck.
The driver, a 28-year-old Neepawa man, was the lone occupant of the truck and was taken by ambulance to hospital with minor injuries.
No one else was hurt.
It’s not the first time a vehicle has struck the building, and a reinforced concrete barrier — about two to three feet high and about 18 inches thick — was placed in front of the portion of the structure that was hit.
It didn’t stop the potato truck, though.
"My bookkeeper’s desk is underneath the back wheels of that truck," Ramsey said.
RCMP continue to investigate, and no charges are pending against the driver at this point. It appears alcohol wasn’t a factor.
Meanwhile, the Ramseys were left to salvage what they could from the rubble.
The section of building hit had remained standing, but it was left unstable and was torn down using a backhoe.
The auto service side of the building appeared to be intact, but Brian Ramsey said it remains to be seen how the crash will impact their ability to run the business — the administration and sales offices, and the computer system were destroyed.
The owner of the farm that owned the truck couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 22, 2013