Public Safety

Three killed as pickup truck crashes into Walmart store in Pella

This photo from Dec. 1, 2016, shows a pickup truck that crashed through the doors of a Wal-Mart store in Pella. (Photo provided by Jonathon A. Smith)
This photo from Dec. 1, 2016, shows a pickup truck that crashed through the doors of a Wal-Mart store in Pella. (Photo provided by Jonathon A. Smith)

PELLA — Three people were killed and two injured on Thursday when a pickup truck crashed through the front of a Wal-Mart store in central Iowa, a state police spokesman said.

The Ford pickup truck slammed through the meat and pharmacy entrance of the store in Pella, Iowa, about 40 miles southeast of Des Moines, shortly before 10 a.m. local time, said Sergeant Nathan Ludwig of the Iowa State Patrol.

“There are three confirmed fatalities within the store. At this time it doesn’t appear to be an intentional act,” Ludwig said, adding that the driver had been hospitalized for injuries suffered in the crash.

A second person also sustained injuries, he said.

Ludwig said an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the accident and that the names of the deceased were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

“We’re heartbroken by what appears to be a tragic accident,” Wal-Mart spokesman Charles Crowson said in a written statement on behalf of the company.

“Our focus right now is on our associates, customers and gathering information. We will continue working closely with law enforcement and emergency responders,” Crowson said.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Additional reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin; Editing by Dan Grebler and Diane Craft)

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