Truck smashes through north Red Deer business

A medical emergency believed to have caused driver to lose control of pickup

It was a near-miracle no employees or customers were injured when a pickup truck smashed through the front of a Red Deer car audio business Monday morning, say the owners.

The Ford F-150 pickup destroyed the office of one Vibe Car Audio employee, who was not at his desk because he had called in sick that morning.

Another employee’s desk further inside the business at 5125 76A Street Close was also crushed before the truck came to a stop against a back wall at about 9:40 a.m.

The owner of that desk had gone to visit the company’s Okotoks office that morning and was not as his usual post.

A third employee was just stepping out of an office washroom when the truck came to a stop inches from the door.

“He was opening the door when the truck came through and he reacted and fell back,” said Vibe general manager and co-owner Dean Hanrahan.

“We were super lucky,” said Vibe co-owner and building owner Dave Appleby.

Hanrahan, who was in the building when the truck came hurtling through a plate glass window, did not know what happened at first.

“It was like an explosion,” said Hanrahan.

“My first thought when the glass was shattering was that something fell through the roof.”

That no one was hurt is what matters, the two said.

“This is just stuff that can be fixed,” said Hanrahan, surveying the destruction.

Hanrahan said it appears the driver, a man in his 60s, had a seizure and lost control of the truck as it went through the nearby intersection at 77th Street and Gaetz Avenue.

“The light turned green, the truck started to go and turned right,” he said.

Tire tracks showed the truck’s path as it left the road, crossed a small median and parking area, before going through a large picture window.

Hanrahan said the driver was mostly unconscious as he tried to help and comfort him.

Red Deer Emergency Services assistant deputy chief Damian LaGrange said when fire-medics arrived, they winched the truck back so they could get to the driver. He was taken to hospital, but an update on his condition was not available.

A fire investigator was on scene to ensure the building was safe for the business staff to return.

“Fortunately, nobody was standing in the pathway of that truck when it made its way inside the structure,” he said.

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