Cherokee County auto shop devastated by truck crash, faces uncertain future

 A Cherokee County business owner says his automotive shop is going to take a big financial hit after a truck slammed into it. 

Don Nichols owns K.A.R. Shop on Bells Ferry Road. He says he's used to having cars pull up to his shop, but definitely not into and through the wall of his shop. 

"I get a call, police and fire department telling me there's been an accident, ‘There's a truck in your waiting room,’" said Nichols. 

Bricks, cement blocks, glass, ceiling tiles covered the floor of the waiting room from the impact of the truck slamming into the building Friday night. 

When Nichols first saw the damage, he couldn't help but think about what could have happened if the crash occurred earlier in the day. 

"About two hours before this happened, I had a 2-year-old little boy and his mother and they sat right where that truck went through. It could have been a lot worse, thank God it wasn't," said Nichols. 

Cherokee County sheriff's officials say the driver of the truck, 58-year-old Ignacio Valezquez-Hernandez was arrested and charged with DUI. 

Temporary repairs were made to K.A.R. Shop over the weekend. Nichols says depending on what structural engineers say about the supporting walls, it could take months to get business back to normal. He says this is going to hurt financially since the summer months are his busiest time. 

"It's going to take its toll and it's going to take a while to recover from this," said Nichols. 

Nichols says he's grateful for the outpouring of support and concern he's received from the community. 

"It's really nice to know there are still a lot of good people out there," said Nichols.