For the week of December 2 thru December 8, 1998  

Car smashes into convenience store

Express Staff Writer

A convenience store near Shoshone suddenly became a drive-in early yesterday when a car, allegedly traveling at about 100 miles per hour, left State Highway 75 and plowed through its front door.

"I thought it was an earthquake, because the whole building just shook," said Lois Peterson, owner of Johnny’s Country Store, located four miles north of the town.

Peterson said she was sleeping in her bedroom above the store when the crash occurred at about 2:15 a.m.

According to Idaho State Police, the car involved was a 1990 Saab driven by Steven Dean Fields, 29, of Shoshone.

Peterson said the car was traveling north on Highway 75 when it left the road and sheared off a power pole. She said the car then apparently was airborne as it went over a cross street just south of the store, and landed in the store’s parking lot. From there it headed straight at the front of the store, she said.

"They took out the door and all of the cinder blocks around it," Peterson said. "The first row of shelving was shoved back into the center of the store."

Peterson said the car then plowed across the store’s facade, destroying a Coke machine and the poles holding up an awning.

Peterson said she realized the commotion was not an earthquake when she looked outside and saw the Saab sitting in front of the store with its radiator steaming. She said she then called 911.

"I told them something has happened but I’m not sure what it was yet," she said.

Peterson said a Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy arrived shortly after. She said police estimated the car’s speed to have been about 100 mph.

According to state police, Fields was arrested following the accident on an unrelated warrant.


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