Speeding driver hits store on Northwest

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDOctober 19, 2013 

A Bellingham man was injured and the car he was driving was totaled Friday night, Oct. 18, after it collided with a convenience store on Northwest Avenue and caught fire.

Elix M. Ortiz-Rios, 43, of Bellingham was taken by aid car to St. Joseph hospital. He had been wearing a seatbelt. The car was towed. A hospital spokeswoman declined to describe Ortiz-Rios' injuries.

According to the Washington State Patrol, Ortiz-Rios was speeding north on Northwest and failed to stop at a stop sign at Smith Road. He braked and his 1989 Chrysler four-door skidded about 200 feet before hitting Greene's Corner, 5305 Northwest Drive.

The accident caused significant damage to the store, said Trooper Mark Francis of the State Patrol. A glass window was knocked out and the store was determined unsafe for continued business.

Drugs or alcohol were involved, the patrol reported. Charges were pending.

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