Five Minutes of Horror: 911 tapes reveal moments surrounding fatal crash and fire
Thu, 22 Aug 2013 16:25:14 GMT —
A collection of 911 recordings released Wednesday begin to develop a still murky picture of a high-speed crash that sent a truck careening into a south Quincy business and left one man dead.
Quincy police haven't released the name of the deceased. All questions were forwarded to the Adams County Coroner's Office.
Coroner Jim Keller said that he doesn't expect to make a positive identification Thursday due to the state of the badly burned body.
The 13 minutes of 911 recordings include three phone calls that took place before the truck crashed into the Crossing Thrift Store at the intersection of 8th and Adams streets.
The initial call came in to 911 at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday. Over the next five minutes, a flurry of more than a dozen phone calls reported erratic driving and the horrific conclusion.
The first caller reported that a maroon truck was blowing through stop signs and that it almost struck a child.
A second caller said the truck was driving through four-way intersections, driving on curbs, speeding and squealing tires at 9th and Ohio streets and 10th and Ohio streets. The woman expressed concern for school children at the nearby building that formerly housed Irving School.
The third caller said she was southbound on 8th Street when the driver blew past her at a high rate of speed. "He's all over," she said.
The remaining 10 minutes of phone calls came after the truck crashed into the corner building. One caller said the truck overturned as it went into the building.
"Do you know if he's hurt?" the 911 operator asked.
"The truck's on fire," she said.
The truck struck a fence at the rear of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic School playground along 8th Street. It struck a tree and another vehicle before it went into the building.
"Oh my God, what the hell?" one woman is heard saying.
"It hit the building. It hit the Crossing Thrift Shop building. There's someone in the car," another panicked woman said.
City Building Inspector Mike Seaver inspected the building Thursday morning and determined that it's not an immediate danger to the public.
"I don't see anything that would cause us to have it demolished," he said. "we will be in contact with the owner to work on a plan to fix it or have it demolished. It's certainly not occupiable at this point due to the smoke and heat damage."
The building's owners are listed as Drew and Lorenzo Payan of Ventura, Calif. Attempts to reach them Thursday were unsuccessful.
Dawn Whitaker lived in the apartment above the thrift shop that took the brunt of the fire damage.
Rev. Bob Cowman of the Columbus Road Baptist Church said Whitaker lost all of her personal belongings.
"She lost everything and didn't have renter's insurance," he said. "Her immediate need won't be housing. I think that's been solved in the short term. But in terms of belongings â?? bedding, kitchen, living room â?? those things would be pressing issues."
Rev. Bruce Freeman of the Crossing church in Quincy said that the story closed 10 minutes before the crash took place.
"We were obviously very fortunate in that way," he said.
Stay with us for more details as they are released.