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Driver slams into Sumas Drug, community helps clear debris

A Ford Explorer crashed into Sumas Drug, 1143 Cherry St., causing considerable damage but no serious injuries.
A Ford Explorer crashed into Sumas Drug, 1143 Cherry St., causing considerable damage but no serious injuries. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

For the second time since Christmas, a car went crashing through Sumas Drug – a building that once was a commercial vehicle showroom.

No one suffered serious injuries in the most recent crash Tuesday, and officials said the driver apparently mistook the accelerator for the brake pedal.

Sumas Police Chief Chief Haugen wasn’t sure what citation would be issued, pending an investigation. The driver’s name wasn’t disclosed, but Haugen said he is a local resident.

Being a small town, you can always count on your neighbor.

Julie McGillivray, Sumas Drug co-owner

“This was a lot worse than before. They said it was like a bomb going off,” said Julie McGillivray, who owns the drugstore with her husband. She said the store closed after the wreck, but that it would be open Wednesday, thanks to police officers, volunteer firefighters and local residents who helped clear debris and secure the building.

“It was amazing that they all helped with the cleanup,” McGillivray said. “Being a small town, you can always count on your neighbor. Without their help, there’s no way we could be open tomorrow (Wednesday).”

Chief Jerry DeBruin of Whatcom County Fire District 14 said a customer was pinned briefly against shelving, and others were hit by flying glass, but all the injuries were superficial.

“There was stuff scattered everywhere,” DeBruin said.

Both he and Haugen praised their crews’ efforts.

“We’re a small community and we know all those people,” Haugen said. “That’s why we often go above and beyond the call of duty.”

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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