WESTERLY — The 18-year-old who Westerly police say drove his van into the Westerly 24-hour Wal-Mart early Wednesday morning is in critical condition, according to Rhode Island Hospital.
Police identified the man as Thomas H. Brightman, 18, of Charlestown. Brightman was transported to Rhode Island Hospital by Westerly Ambulance Corp after being extricated from his car.
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.
The Westerly Police Department Accident Reconstruction Unit is investigating the accident. Chief 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.