The Blue Ridge Antique Mall in Franklin County could reopen as early as Monday. Business Owner Joel Shepherd says most of the damage was limited to the front of the building. “The truck never pierced the building. It pushed in the front wall maybe six inches in a few spots,” he said. A driver was killed Thursday when his tractor-trailer slammed into the building. Shepherd employees were saddened to hear someone died. “I think they were pretty much concerned about the loss of life of someone else and they're certainly pretty shaken up. That's a close brush for them undoubtedly,” he said.
Investigators say the crash and fire caused between $500,000 and $700,000 worth of damage.Before the business reopens, environmental cleanup and repairs must take place. It could be several days before the driver of the tractor-trailer is identified
We spoke with a vendor who said his grandfather clocks were not damaged. Bobby Mitchell said he was concerned about the people inside at the time of the crash because several were near the point of impact. “There were about ten or twelve people in there-customers-several of them were ready to checkout right at that moment. Of course the checkout bench is right there at the tower so they got might lucky-mighty lucky yesterday,” he said.