Car sheers off light pole, crashes into Port Angeles building
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A 1987 Honda Accord driven by Howard Dale Gentry crashed into Energy 360 on First Street in Port Angeles on Tuesday. — Vivian Elvis Hansen/Peninsula Daily News

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The co-owner of an energy supplement store on First Street didn't know Wednesday when — or if — she might reopen after a car crashed through the building Tuesday evening.

“I don't know what our plans are now,” said Bev Wilson, who opened Energy 360 at 322 W. First St. with her mother, Donna Caldwell, in March.

“We've kind of been left in limbo” after the crash.

Howard Dale Gentry, 57, described as a transient with past addresses in Port Angeles and unincorporated Clallam County, was in the county jail Wednesday on $1,000 bail for investigation of driving under the influence.

He was treated for minor injuries at Olympic Medical Center on Tuesday.

The crash tore a decorative light pole from the sidewalk and deposited a 1987 Honda Accord into the building.

Wilson said city building inspectors had to make sure the building would not collapse before the car was removed.

“It pretty much tore up the inside of the building,” Wilson said.

“It set that [northwest] corner back probably 16 [to] 18 inches,” and the base of the light pole was found in the middle of her store, she added.

Wilson, who was not in the building at the time, said that as of Wednesday morning, she had not surveyed the damage inside the store in detail.

“It was quite a mess in there,” Wilson said.

“There needs to be some cleanup that's got to go on before we can even go in and assess the damage to our product,” she added.

Wilson said she rents the space from building owner Danni Breen. Breen could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

Wilson was putting the finishing touches on a smoothie and shake bar in her shop and planning to open it up for a trial run this Friday.

The bar was set in the corner the car crashed into, she said.

“The whole nine yards was right there in that corner, and it got shoved back to the middle of the store,” Wilson said.

City inspectors will have to assess the building to see whether it can be repaired, Wilson said.

Port Angeles Police Sgt. Glen Roggenbuck said Gentry also was issued a notice of infraction for no insurance.

“At this point, it is unknown why [Gentry] left the roadway,” Roggenbuck said.

“There's likely no additional charges, but certainly it's likely he [could be] civilly liable for any damages he caused,” he added.

Roggenbuck did not have an estimate Wednesday of how fast the car was going but said evidence showed Gentry appeared to tap the brakes before the car struck the building.

Energy 360 sells a variety of energy supplements, vitamins and nutritional powders, Wilson said.

She said she has insurance and has contacted her agent about the next steps.

Maher Abed, deputy director of operations for city public works, said the pole was one of the decorative ones that line First Street.

City crews should have it replaced in about a week, he said.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 21. 2014 7:07PM
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