Reporting Anjali Hemphill
CARMICHAEL (CBS13) – The back wall of a liquor store in Carmichael came crashing down on a store clerk, but police say they were able to make an arrest just hours later, thanks to clear surveillance video of the crash that was shot from almost every angle.
“I had a customer who wanted a pack of cigarettes. I grabbed the cigs, I heard boom,” said store clerk Daljinder Singh.
The incident happened at Kay Bee Liquor store off Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael. As he rang up customers, Singh was trapped in the rubble as the wall behind him collapsed.
“All of a sudden the front of the store just exploded and moved about three feet forward into the store and pinned the owner in,” customer Joe Stoup said.
Bewildered customers ran to help.
The video shows the driver, who slammed into the front of the liquor store, driving off.
“Then the guy was revving his engine, and it seemed like he was gonna come forward more, and we were like, ‘oh my god,’ and then he ended up turning the truck around and leaving,” said Stoup.
The incredible scene was all caught on several surveillance cameras.
Some of the video is so clear, you can make out two people sitting inside the white truck.
“I watched the tape, how they came in, and I don’t think they stopped,” said Singh.
Singh said the impact was so strong it threw a heavy freezer two feet.
California Highway Patrol officers watched the tape too, and that’s how they were able to track down 34-year-old Robert Ring. A close-up camera shot revealed the truck’s license plate.
He was arrested just two hours after the crash.
“He was under the influence still and actually over the legal limit for the state of California. So, he was arrested for felony DUI,” said CHP Officer Adrian Quintero.
Singh is now healing from two broken legs, but his injuries could have been much worse.
A complete cleanup of his store, however, will take some time.
“I could break my back if the shelf came over me. I would have been dead. I’m lucky I’m still breathing,” said Singh.
CBS13 tried to get Ring’s side of the story, but he denied our requests for an interview.
Ring is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.