Police, fire and power crews worked past midnight and into the early hours of Friday morning after a car ran through the wall of a Valdosta grocery store, resulting in an injury so serious it required a life-flight helicopter to make a landing in a city park darkened by the ensuing blackout.
Capt. Raymond Conner of the Valdosta Police Department said the police department received a call about the accident around midnight.
The vehicle ran a stop sign at the intersection of Brookwood Place and North Troup Street. The driver, a 40-year old man, continued driving across a grass field, striking a utility pole and a dirt embankment before going through the back block wall of Mr. B’s IGA store at 1405 North Lee Street.
The damage knocked out power to several square blocks of Valdosta reaching from Lee and Vallotton Streets over to Patterson Street, where much of the city’s business district was without power.
Electrical service was restored around 2 a.m.
The driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle and sustained serious injuries.
Police cars used their headlights to mark out a landing zone for the helicopter in the darkened Vallotton Park directly behind Mr. B’s.
The injured driver was transported to a Tallahassee hospital where he is in critical condition.
His name has not been released by the police department.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing and being handled by the police department’s traffic unit. Charges are pending, according to reports.
Adam Floyd contributed to this story.