WILMINGTON — Charges are pending against a Wilmington man who authorities said crashed an SUV inside the downtown CVS store and then led police and firefighters on a foot pursuit which ended with his apprehension.
The 35-year-old man was taken to Clinton Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries incurred during the crash, and he was later transferred to another hospital for further medical treatment, said City Administrator Marian Miller.
The suspect has not been arrested; authorities are working with the Prosecutor’s Office on possible charges. The city is not yet officially releasing the suspect’s name since he has not been arrested at this time.
Crash and pursuit
The Kia Sorrento SUV crashed into the entrance of the CVS store downtown and minutes later the driver fled the scene on foot with Wilmington police officers and firefighters in pursuit on foot and on wheels up North Walnut St.
Four people, including the driver, were taken to Clinton Memorial Hospital with reported injuries.
The most seriously injured was a woman who was struck by the vehicle inside the foyer, said Wilmington Police Sgt. Ron Fithen at the scene. She had suffered a “pretty visible serious injury,” he said.
Two small children were reported injured, one of whom had a visible laceration, the sergeant said.
Two other individuals also received injuries, and were treated at the scene.
No CVS employees were physically injured, said Fithen, but they were visibly shaken.
According to Fithen, the only occupants of the SUV were the driver as well as two small dogs. The dogs were being attended to at the scene by EMS personnel as alarms blared from inside the store.
During the incident which had several witnesses who gave statements to police, the SUV was southbound on North Walnut Street, struck a utility pole at the corner of North Walnut and East Main Streets in front of the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office, snapping the pole in two.
The vehicle then struck a fire hydrant on the CVS property, went through the shrubs near the Main Street road frontage of CVS, went all the way through the parking lot and crashed into the CVS foyer, coming to a stop on its side entirely within the walls of the store.
For a while the man operating the vehicle was stuck inside the vehicle, and first responders started the procedure to extricate him.
“At the time they extricated him he somehow got out of the sun roof and fled on foot,” said Fithen.
At least three other vehicles were damaged during the incident.