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Driver crashes into Lawton store

LAWTON_ Hallmark is a place to find greeting cards, ornaments, and gifts. However, early Saturday morning a pick-up truck was also on display. Lawton police say a man plowed his truck into the Hallmark store on Sheridan Road near Gore Boulevard.

Officers say the black Dodge hopped a curb and smashed through Hallmark's front doors and displays around 2 a.m. Saturday. Police say the driver took off, attempted to change his tire in a Cameron University parking lot, and returned to the gas station across from the store. That's where police arrested him.

Half of the front wall of the store is boarded up, but Hallmark is open for business.  They normally open at 9:30 on Saturdays, but after several hours of clean-up starting at 4 a.m., they still got the store open before noon.

Employee Nicholas Scott was going to bed when he got a text message saying somebody drove into his workplace.  He reluctantly headed to the store and was shocked by the view.

"I was expecting a couple of windows just pushed out, like a car drove through straight," Scott said. "Not the whole left side of a truck knocking the whole front of the store out."

Glass was everywhere--the front wall is made up of windows and the truck took out half of it.

"Nobody got hurt in the situation, but it was a big job," said Desiree Hendy, the store's manager.  "This is truly a labor day weekend, cleaning all this up."

Witnesses at a fast-food restaurant across the street told police about the truck, and they found it at a gas station at the same intersection.

Officers arrested the driver on suspicion of driving under the influence and other traffic charges.

"We were told that street racing was involved and that he was very drunk, that he could not pass his sobriety test," Hendy said.  

She says they are fortunate the truck did not go very far into the store, but it still caused a lot of damage.  She's mostly concerned about the appearance of her store. "This is my baby.  I take care of it, I'm here all the time.  I feel like someone smacked my baby and gave it a bruise, and I hate it."

Hendy says she estimates the accident caused over $10,000 in damage, including merchandise.

Hallmark employees say the accident did not hurt business. In fact, a lot of people went in to ask what happened, and did some shopping while inside.

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