Three people died and two were injured in an accident this morning at the Walmart store in Pella.
Sergeant Nathan Ludwig of the Iowa State Patrol say there was a 911 made at 9:54 this morning about a Ford pickup that had entered the market and pharmacy entrance of the Walmart.
“There are three confirmed fatalities of individuals that were in the store at the time of this. There were two that were transported to a local hospital with injuries. As far as their status, I don’t know that,” Ludwig says. “One of those two was the driver of a pickup.”
He doesn’t know much more about the people who died in the store. He says they were customers or workers and right now he doesn’t have any names or ages, but hopes to have that later Thursday.
Ludwig says they are not yet sure what happened.”We don’t know that at this time — it’s under investigation. At this time we don’t believe that it is an intentional act, like I say, at this time it is under investigation,” according to Ludwig. Ludwig says the store is closed as investigators try to determine what happened.
Jim Frank an employee of the Pella Walmart was an eyewitness to the accident.
“I had just walked through this area — probably not five seconds later — I heard a terrible big bang. It was almost like a shot went out and it was like a train was coming through the store. There was a silver flash, there was a pickup that came through the entrance to Walmart, and there was debris everywhere,” Frank says.
He says it was hard to believe it was happening. “Everybody was in shock. They transported all of the Pella Walmart employees to the community center, got statements, had counseling for anybody that needed it, ” Franks says, “and there were several people who were quite upset as you could imagine.”
Frank says several employees were trying to process what had happened. “It was something just like a horror picture, it happened so fast. It was just a pickup came right through the front door,” Frank says. He did not know any more about the victims of the accident.
Additional reporting and photos contributed by Joe Milledge, KIIC Radio, Albia