Maybe it was fitting that on a day reputed for bad luck - Friday the 13th - that the County Market Health Mart Pharmacy, 5 Diamond Blvd., would be struck by a vehicle for the third time in 17 months.
Neither Robert Yount of Hannibal, the 81-year-old driver of the 1999 GMC Sonoma that hit the front of the pharmacy around 9:40 a.m., or anyone inside the building were injured.
“Luckily no one was injured, but there are some repairs to be made,” said Sean Hampton, Hannibal assistant fire chief.
Art Awerkamp, director of pharmacy for Niemann Foods, who described the structure’s damage as “considerable,” was thankful there were no injuries.
“Just as long as he (Yount) is OK, everything’s fine. We can fix damage. It will be all right,” said Awerkamp, indicating that a contractor was already en route to address the damage, which was just left of the building’s double front doors.
Despite the damage, the store, which houses both the pharmacy and Hannibal Medical Supplies, remained open.
“The (pharmacy) drive-through is open and the other (front) door is open. Hannibal Medical is open. We’re all good and back in business,” said Awerkamp.
The Niemann Foods official estimated there were 10 people inside the structure when the accident happened - five County Market Pharmacy employees, three or four Hannibal Medical employees and two customers.
“They (customers) weren’t too close, but too close for comfort. They’re fine,” he said. “One gentleman was in a wheelchair. He didn’t get hit.”
When the impact occurred, Awerkamp knew what had happened.
“It was just a very loud crash,” he said. “It was an extended noise. A couple of seconds of it.
“I literally said, ‘Not again.’”
The store was first hit on April 19, 2012, when the foot of an 87-year-old man, who was there to drop off his prescriptions, slipped off the brake and hit the accelerator. Twenty-four weeks later, on Oct. 4, 2012, the car of a woman “almost 80” hit the building.
The story was essentially the same on Friday.
“An older gentleman’s foot slipped and he hit the wrong pedal and came through the front of the pharmacy,” said Awerkamp.
A media release issued by Hannibal police did not detail the cause of the mishap, stating only the incident remains under investigation.
After the October accident, Niemann Foods took steps to protect the building.
“We added bollards in front of every parking stall to keep this from happening and he (Yount) came right up that wheelchair ramp. We might need a couple more (bollards),” said Awerkamp. “I feel bad for him (Yount). It was just bad luck.”
Page 2 of 2 - So what about the superstition of having bad luck on Friday the 13th. Is there anything to it?
“I don’t know,” said Hampton. “I guess there could be something to that.”
“I was born on the 13th so I don’t believe in that,” said Awerkamp.