By Max Hrenda
Police believe a medical problem caused a Johnson City man to crash into a local auto parts store early Wednesday morning.
At approximately 8:30 a.m., a Ford Edge driven by Dennis C. Beamer, 57, 1608 Idlewild Drive, Johnson City, crashed through the front entrance of the NAPA Auto Parts store at 115 Broad St.
Although some employees were in the store, Elizabethton Police Department Capt. Jason Shaw said Beamer was the only one injured in the accident.
“There are no other injuries that we know of,” Shaw said. “They were preparing to open. Luckily, there was no one around that area.”
Witnesses told police that, after traveling west on Broad Street, Beamer’s vehicle veered across two lanes of oncoming traffic and began swerving through the parking lot of Tires-R-Us at 210 Broad St., coming into contact with two poles in the process. Beamer’s vehicle continued into the adjacent parking lot of the Elizabethton Church of Christ, which is directly across the street from NAPA.
From there, witnesses said Beamer’s vehicle jumped the curb and continued across all four lanes of Broad Street before crashing into NAPA’s front entrance. After arriving on the scene, emergency personnel – including the EPD, Elizabethton Fire Department, and Carter County Emergency and Rescue Squad – checked on Beamer’s status.
“Officers found the occupant unresponsive,” Shaw said. “He was then transported to the hospital.”