LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) – A St. Louis man is dead after an 18-wheeler drove straight through an AutoZone store in Lufkin Wednesday morning.
“The truck driver was headed southbound on Timberland, had a heart attack, left the roadway, and tore down two or three telephone poles,” Owner of Due’s Wrecker Service Johnny Due said.
The driver was identified as 62-year-old Brian Golliday from St. Louis, Missouri. An autopsy has been ordered. After his family was notified of Golliday’s death, they told Lufkin PD that he had a history of heart problems.
According to local police, the truck was hauling bananas nearing the store just before 4:30 a.m. and left the road near an intersection for an unknown reason. The truck traveled several hundred yards before driving completely through the AutoZone store.
The 18-wheeler came to a stop in some trees at Kiwanis Park behind an office building. When officers and firefighters arrived on the scene, the driver was found dead.
The AutoZone has a hole through it now, with products that were once stacked on shelves now just debris on the ground. What was once a solid building is almost unrecognizable.
“I wake up and see our group chat for all the employees, and I’m like, I called her and I’m like ‘is this for real?'” said AutoZone employee Candie Gibson.
The store opens at 7:30 a.m., but employees say sometimes they come in earlier. This morning, they’re grateful they didn’t.