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Dead, 2 Injured After Truck Crashes Into Pella, Iowa Walmart

04 December 2016

Dennis Mockenhaupt, 66, of Knoxville, was the driver of the truck who was injured. The sporting goods store sits in a strip of businesses across the parking lot from the Wal-Mart.

PELLA, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa State Patrol spokesman says the crash of a pickup truck into a southern Iowa store that killed three appears to have been an accident.

One cement pillar in front of the store was completely knocked over. The truck took out a concrete bollard placed outside the Walmart entrance to block vehicles from the door.

Within minutes, law enforcement officers arrived and ran into the building with guns drawn, McCarty said.

"At this time, we don't have any reason to believe it was intentional", said Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig, who was at the scene of the crash.

The entire store was evacuated, including Walmart staff and shoppers, out the store's undamaged door. "We will continue working closely with law enforcement and emergency responders", Crowson said.

The truck appeared to have ended up in the middle of the Walmart's produce section.

"I made a purchase and I was going to leave, but I chose to go to the bathroom first".

"I'm personally shaken to hear about the loss of friends", he said.

"I was crushed", she said. "I came out and saw glass everywhere". Authorities had not released the identities of those killed and injured by Thursday evening. "I looked to my left and saw the truck crashed on the produce aisle of the store". Not sure what happened, she and her coworkers considered locking the doors to her store, she said.

Dave Harbey said he was driving into work for his shift at a nearby auto wash.

Those killed in the Thursday morning crash were Carrie Zugg, 31, of Leighton, and Lindsey Rietveld, 29, of Bussey - both employees of the Pella store - and Ruth Jean DeJong, 76, of Pella, a shopper, officials said.

"Pella's usually a sleepy town". This Pella High student was in school when he learned what happened at his workplacehe says the victims and the driver deserve to be in everyone's thoughts.

Police do not know the cause of the accident.

Presley is the editor for the Pella, Iowa Chronicle.