Truck plows through paint store

A driver crashed a Ford pickup through the wall of a Kwal Paint store Friday morning at 2801 North Ave. The driver was charged with DUI and reckless driving.

It started as a normal Friday at Kwal Paint.

The doors of store at 2801 North Ave. opened at 6:30 a.m. A pot of coffee was brewed. A box of doughnuts sat on the counter.

Then, about 10 a.m., Grand Junction’s Jennifer Christensen, 41, crashed her Ford truck through a side wall of the building, stopping eight feet inside the store.  She was arrested and released on a summons on suspicion of DUI and reckless driving, according to the Grand Junction Police Department.

Don Birely said he was standing behind the front counter when the crash happened.

“It was a loud bang. Huge bang. Huge,” Birely said. “I walked over and asked if she was all right. She had a deer-in-the-headlights, glazed look ... Her entire truck came into the store.”

Christensen was taken to a local hospital with “unknown injuries,” said Kate Porras, police department spokeswoman.

No one else was injured.

Trenton Wilkins, assistant manager, said he was outside loading a delivery truck when he heard the crash. The truck driver looked over and told Wilkins, “Oh my God, somebody drove through your store,” Wilkins said.

It took crews nearly two hours to remove the truck because of the amount of structural damage to the building, Porras said. Birely estimated the amount of damage to the store as “significant.”

Shortly after noon, the strong smell of stain lingered, the dark liquid pooled across the store.

According to the police department, Christensen was driving her truck eastbound on North Avenue when she veered off at 28 Road, crossed multiple lanes of traffic, jumped a curb, and crashed into the side wall off 28 Road.

Kwal Paint is closed until further notice, but Birely said he’ll reopen as soon as possible.


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