Uninsured driver sticks charity with thousands in damages after car crash

(Photo Courtesy: KRQE)

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – St. Vincent de Paul’s mission is all about supporting the community, but thanks to a recent accident that damaged their building, they could be the ones needing help soon.

“It’s just a hard blow to take at this time,” said Operations Manager Ernest Montoya.

A literal blow, that left behind two gaping holes in the side of their thrift store near Menaul and Washington more than a week ago.

Montoya said, “I was in the store by the registers and we heard a loud crash and we didn’t know what it was.”

It was two cars crashing into their building. Albuquerque Police say the man driving the truck had a medical episode, crashed into another car and pushed them both into the wall. Inside, it looked like a tornado had blown through.

Staff say their first concern was making sure everyone was safe. Later, the fire department cleared them to reopen the store, but now that the dust has settled they’re facing a harsh reality. The driver of the truck didn’t have any insurance.

“That’s really putting a hit on us, because of the fact that we rely on our money to help people,” said Montoya.

The organization helps people needing things like help with rent and utilities. Thrift store proceeds are key in making that happen and keeping their own employees working, but they’re worried their insurance won’t cover everything and that they may have to shut their doors while the repairs are completed.

Montoya said, “There’s a lot of uncertainty right now, and hopefully it won’t be as damaging as it could be and we’ll come out of this okay, but we have to wait and see what happens.”
The organization says it helps at least 150 people every month but they could have less money to dedicate to that soon. After they file this claim with their insurance company, they think their premiums are going to go way up.

Staff say they have had a couple contractors look at the damage but they haven’t gotten an estimate back yet on how much it will cost to fix it all.

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