ROWLEY (CBS) – The Knowles Gas Station on Main Street in Rowley has been in operation since 1932, but it’s never had a day like Friday.
Around three o’clock Friday afternoon, a brand new Chevy pickup truck came barreling in to the gas station, where it knocked down a pair of safety pipes, plowed over a gas pump, and toppled a cement wall, coming to rest inside – where two men were working.
“It is crazy. I’ve been pumping gas here since I was 11 years old for my family and it’s never happened,” said co-owner Jeffrey Head, whose great-grandfather started this business.
“It might be a total loss because there’s a crack that goes all the way across the entire building,” Head said.
The workers inside the gas station “jumped when the truck entered the building, and then one of them grabbed the fire extinguisher and put the fire out,” explained Head.
Witnesses say the fireball at the pump was about eight to ten feet high, but was very brief thanks to automatic shutoff valves that stop the flow of gas in case of just such an emergency.
Mechanic Wayne Nicholson was working in the garage when he looked up to see the truck bearing down on him.
“It sounded like someone dropped a file cabinet out of an airplane,” Nicholson said. “The noise made me look up and gave me enough time to roll out of the way before he went into the office.”
Miraculously, no one inside the gas station was seriously injured, nor was the driver, 40-year-old Curtis Andresen of Georgetown. Police at the scene arrested Andresen and charged him with operating under the influence of drugs, possession of a Class C substance, and operating negligently. He will be in court next week on those charges.