Crash into liquor store results in curbside service for time being

Crash into liquor store results in curbside service for time being

The Westerly Sun

NORTH STONINGTON — Those planning to purchase alcohol through Stateline Discount Liquors will get treated to curbside service over the next few weeks after the facility was heavily damaged Saturday when it was struck by a drunken driver.

The building, at 270 Clark Falls Road and also known as the Cork and Barrel Liquor Store, sustained more than $40,000 in damage early Saturday evening when a 2012 Dodge Charger driven by Rhode Island resident Katrina Oliver drove into the building and struck a corner support column, compromising the safety of the facility, Connecticut State Police said.

But for Westerly resident and store owner Brett Marggraff, who said he made the decision to offer the curbside service after speaking with building inspectors, dealing with the challenge is a small price to pay knowing that everyone walked away unscathed.

“Everyone was safe, that’s the most important thing,” Marggraff said in a phone interview Monday. “It is definitely scary to think about what could have happened. One of my employees had walked through the cooler door where the crash occurred just 15 seconds before. She was lucky not to have been crushed.”

State troopers, fire officials and building inspectors were called to the store just before 4 p.m. with reports of a car that crashed into a building, according to an accident report from State Police. Troopers arrived to find Oliver, 48, of West Kingston, had driven head-on into the store, damaging a support column in the process.

Oliver showed signs of intoxication, police said, and failed a series of field sobriety tests before being taken into custody. She was released after posting a $500 bond and is expected to appear for arraignment at New London Superior Court on Sept. 5.

No injuries were reported, police said, and the business was temporarily closed while an investigation was conducted.

Marggraff said the building inspector determined the building was no longer safe for customers. He said he has begun cleaning up the mess and has spoken with two local contractors who estimated repairs to cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

No timeline has been set for when repairs would be complete, but Marggraff said his insurance company has moved quickly to assist in addressing the damage and he anticipates it would “likely only be a few weeks.”

“We will make the repairs and reopen as quickly as possible. I don’t foresee this taking too long, we’ve already got the ball rolling,” he said.

In the meantime, the business will remain open during regular hours with a unique plan that involves employees bringing the product to customers, he said. While customers are unable to enter the facility, Marggraff said employees will be on standby to take their orders and bring back the items requested.

“Right now we are simply trying to share the message that yes, we are open,” he said.


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