WESTERLY — Westerly police have identified the man who drove his van into the Westerly Wal-Mart early this morning as Thomas H. Brightman, 18, of Charlestown.
Brightman was transported to Rhode Island Hospital by the Westerly Ambulance Corps after being extricated from his car. Westerly Police Sgt. Jamie Campbell said the injuries appeared severe, but not life-threatening.
Witnesses to the 12:20 a.m. crash reported Brightman driving erratically in the parking lot before seeing the vehicle crash into the building in the area between the garden center and the main doors.
Members of the Westerly Police Department Accident Reconstruction Unit are still investigating the accident. Chief Edward St. Clair said they have not yet determined the cause of the crash.
Wal-Mart was evacuated for about 45 minutes, and merchandise displays on the exterior and interior walls sustained heavy damage, according to a press release from the police department.
Check back with the Sun online and in tomorrow’s paper for more updates.
— Nancy Lavin