Altoona driver charged after Sheetz truck crashes into Virginia church

Local News

(WFXR News) – Virginia State police are investigating a vehicle that crashed into a church.

According to police, the crash happened Tuesday night around 10:40 p.m. on Route 29 in Pittsylvania County.

A 2018 Freightliner tractor-trailer was traveling north on Route 29, when the vehicle ran off the left side of the roadway, through the median crossing the southbound lanes. The truck continued into the parking lot of the Open Bible Church.

The tractor-trailer hit three parked, unoccupied cars, and continued through the parking lot and the struck the church. The truck was leaking diesel fuel and the fire department was on scene with a HAZMAT crew.

Police identified 65-year-old Herman Wicker as the driver of the tractor-trailer.

Officials confirmed that Wicker was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. He was transported to the hospital for minor injuries.

According to police, Wicker has been charged with Reckless driving. No other injuries have been reported.

“This could have been really bad, so actually we’re grateful that even the driver, he was injured but,  nothing life-threatening, so I’m grateful no one was hurt,” said Pastor Pastor Tim Kyser, Pastor for 19 years.

Pastor Tim and helpers spent Wednesday trying to get parts of the building covered before the rain comes in.

“Tony, he doesn’t even come to church here, he stopped and helped. Last night, numbers of people that stopped and even as we’ve been working, you see the number of people that have stopped. It’s one of the nice things about a small community,” said Pastor Tim, Kyser, Pastor for 19 years.

Pastor Tim says this isn’t the first time an accident has happened here.

“We’ve had a sign taken out, two years ago we had a tractor trailer flip over, it was a HAZMAT situation. We’ve gone through 4 or 6 of the addiction signs, we quick counting mailboxes. We do, and you know we come to church sometimes and see skid marks across the parking lot where people had an accident and then drove away,” said Pastor Kyser.

Even with that track record, it’s time to repair and rebuild yet again.

“The building is one thing, we can rebuild that, but the driver’s life was an issue so when you put it on that scale, this seems kinda small. This can be rebuilt,” said Pastor Kyser.

Sheetz released the following statement about the crash:

“We are grateful that no one was badly injured in the accident last night in Chatham, Virginia and a Sheetz family member has reached out to the church to see how we can to assist the congregation. This accident remains under investigation and Sheetz is cooperating fully with authorities. ” – Nick Ruffner, PR Manager, Sheetz.

The crash is still under investigation.

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