Darren Doyle, story and photos
It was everything but 'business as usual' shortly after the Bank of Edmonson County opened Friday morning, July 31, when a burning truck crashed into the rear entrance of the bank, causing an evacuation of the property.
Officials on scene said that a Ford Ranger driven by Heather King, of Mammoth Cave was on fire at the rear of the bank. Apparently King was headed to the drive through window when the truck died at the rear entrance. Her husband, Emmanuel King, 34, reportedly raised the hood to look into the problem when he saw the engine compartment was on fire.
Witnesses on scene said as the fire grew hotter, the engine restarted on its own, taking off and crashing into the rear entrance. Brandon Vincent, from Kyrock VFD who was first on the scene, said the truck was fully engulfed when he arrived.
Vincent said firefighters immediately began trying to get both Mr. and Mrs. King and others away from the fire. "The people there were cussing at us, wanting to know where the fire department was," said Vincent. "I was trying to clear everybody out because the truck could have blown up, and they're threatening us because we dented their hood trying to get it open to put out the fire."
Sheriff Shane Doyle who was on scene, said he heard Mr. King threaten the rescue workers. "I was standing right beside him as firefighters were working hard to control the blaze," he said. "Apparently, he didn't like how they were treating his truck. He looked at the rescue workers and said I'm going to knock them in the (----ing) head."
Doyle said he asked him to repeat what he had just heard and that's when King reportedly said it again. It was then discovered King had been drinking and was arrested for Terroristic Threatening 3rd degree, Disorderly Conduct 2nd degree, and Alcohol Intoxication 1st offense.
Bank employee Patrick Merritt said he heard the crash, looked out the window and immediately called 911. "The police got here fast, I mean it seemed like 10 seconds and they were here," he said. "The evacuation began immediately. We locked everything up and everyone got out and across the street. It was really fast but smooth."
"As soon as we knew there was a fire, we got everything locked up, had the vaults in good shape, everyone's paperwork was safe and we got everyone evacuated safely," said bank employee Michael Meredith. "The fire departments made a quick response time and got the fire put out quickly. It looks like very little damage to the bank at this time. No one was hurt and no damage to any money. We'll have a structural engineer coming over to make sure it's safe to operate and hopefully we'll be open by this afternoon."
Bank Board Chairman Jeanne Patton was grateful to the rescue workers. "We thank our firefighters and emergency workers for such a great job," she said. "We don't know what we'd do without them. Thankfully no one was hurt." She also reminded everyone that the Louisville Road branch in Bowling Green is open and available to help anyone who needs banking until the Brownsville branch was reopened.
Heather King, driver of the truck was heard saying "Sorry about that, ya'll," as she left the scene.