Out of control semi rips through Minnesota town hall

“It sounded like a bomb went off when he hit"

A semi-truck surprised local residents when it plowed through the Shooks Town Hall building in Minnesota earlier this week.

The incident happened around 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9.

A 64-year-old truck driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed through the building at 35107 Highway 72, about 40 miles north of Bemidji.

Russell Jolly, from Winnipeg, Man., had failed to stop his Peterbilt semi at the U.S. Highway 1 intersection. His vehicle left the roadway and crashed straight through the Shooks Town Hall. The building was unoccupied at the time, but the commotion could be heard by several town residents.

Jennifer and Eric Johnson, owners of the Hooked on Shooks Bait Shop located two blocks away, arrived at the scene shortly after the accident. The impact of the semi crash could be felt in their building.

“It sounded like a bomb went off when he hit,” Eric said to the Brainerd Dispatch. “It literally shook our building.”

Eric checked on the driver, who had regained consciousness and was concerned if there had been anyone else hurt in the accident.

“He didn’t respond right away,” Eric said. “Once he gave me a thumbs up I walked up to the truck and he was saying ‘Did I kill anybody? Is everybody OK?’ and I told him that it was a town hall.”

Crews were on the scene for several hours cleaning up the aftermath of the crash. Hooked on Shooks posted several images of the destroyed semi and building on their Facebook page.

Jolly suffered injuries that were non-life-threatening.

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident and the driver was wearing a seatbelt, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The MSP accident report noted that conditions were snowy and icy but the cause of the accident has not been released.

More pictures from the Shooks accident

Posted by Hooked on shooks bait shop on Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Excitement in Shooks tonight. Someone missed the stop sign and went right through the town hall!!

Posted by Hooked on shooks bait shop on Tuesday, February 9, 2021