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Second car accident hits O’Hurley’s in six months

By Toni Milbourne - For the Chronicle | Jun 4, 2021

A Ford Focus crashed into the front of O’Hurley’s General Store early Saturday morning, causing significant damage to the building and store merchandise inside. Courtesy photo

SHEPHERDSTOWN — For the second time within the past six months, O’Hurley’s General Store has literally felt the weight of vehicular traffic. On Dec. 16, 2020, a Jeep Commander crashed into the building, according to reports from the Shepherdstown Police Department when the driver lost control of her vehicle.

Following a three-month closure during the winter months, Jay Hurley had just reopened his store for business at the beginning of May when, on Saturday morning, a 2017 Ford Focus crashed into the building causing significant damage.

“There were no injuries with the crash,” said Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ross Morgan.

Morgan said there was heavy damage near the front door of the building and a lot of damage to merchandise within the store.

“We called the special collapse unit out of Hagerstown to help shore up the building,” Morgan said, mentioning Sharpsburg, Md.’s emergency team also responded to the incident. In addition, Morgan said the fire department helped secure the area with strong plastic so that any inclement weather would not cause further damage.

A large amount of O’Hurley’s General Store’s merchandise was damaged during the car crash on Saturday morning. Courtesy photo

Morgan said the roadway was shut down for approximately one hour.

“We are open and I’m rebuilding,” commented Hurley early this week.

One window frame was broken and the building was pushed back three inches, as the result of a sleeping driver. Hurley said.

“He was asleep,” Hurley said. “When he hit the gravel, it woke him up and he tried to stop and correct.

“I’ve had about enough of this,” Hurley added, saying he is ready to do whatever he can to ensure more accidents of this type do not occur moving forward.

Hurley said he had already spoken to Mayor Jim Auxer about potentially working with the West Virginia Department of Transportation to install rumble strips prior to the curve on Route 230 that would help slow drivers’ speed.

According to Hurley, the speed limit is 25 mph coming into town, but is not observed. He does not believe the speed limit will be observed unless some measures are taken to point it out to drivers.

“Maybe a ‘Your Speed Is’ flashing sign might help, but it has to be up the road ahead of the curve,” he said.

Cpl. Casey Yonkers, with the Shepherdstown Police Department, said the driver of the Ford Focus on Saturday, Shepherdstown resident Jacob Gulizia, was traveling at a speed that was too great and was on wet roads as well.

“Charges have been filed,” Yonkers confirmed, stating the driver was at fault for the accident.

Hurley said this is the fourth time such an accident has occurred since he has run the store, along with one time when his father was in charge.

In addition to potential measures to slow the traffic before they arrive at the curve, Hurley said he does plan to install some bollards close to the building.

“They will look like hitching posts,” Hurley explained, mentioning they will be steel and anchored with concrete. “At least they will slow people down.”

Hurley said he is appreciative of everyone’s concern and suggestions.

“Everyone who has come by has ‘the solution,'” Hurley laughed. “I’ve probably thought more about this than anyone.”