By Amanda Eggert EBS Staff Writer
BIG SKY – Just after 2 p.m. today a man who apparently suffered a seizure lost control of the Hyundai Sonata he was driving and crashed into the C&P Grocery store next door to the Black Bear Bar & Grille.
Two C&P employees were in the grocery store at the time of the accident. One was seeking medial attention for back injuries and the other said she was shaken up by the ordeal but otherwise uninjured.
Two onlookers pulled the driver – identified by his girlfriend as Peter Miller – from the vehicle after breaking one of the car windows, according to Kira Spaulding, one of the C&P employees.
“I don’t think the car made contact with anybody [in the building],” said Montana State Highway Patrol Trooper Zachary Gold who investigated the accident. “Everybody was up and walking around. Obviously, it did a lot of damage to the building.”
The accident is still under investigation, according to Trooper Gold.
The vehicle was removed from the building by a tow truck, but a hole remains in the C&P Grocery.The car was near the intersection of Sitting Bull and Moose Ridge roads when it veered off the road and into the grocery store.
Katie VonLinden, the driver’s girlfriend and owner of the vehicle, said it appeared he had suffered a seizure. She said Miller lost consciousness before the accident and didn’t come to until he was in the back of an ambulance bound for Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.
“The chief of the fire department said [Miller] definitely had a seizure,” VonLinden said, adding that she was aware he has seizures and takes medication for them.
Spaulding was putting together an order inside when the car crashed. Spaulding said she heard someone in the parking lot yell, “Get down.”
“The next thing I know, the car was in the store,” Spaulding said. “I thought it was a bomb.”
The vehicle was removed from the building by a tow truck at approximately 4:30 p.m.. A hole approximately 6 feet wide by 10 feet tall was left in the building.