GASTONIA, N.C. — One man is dead after Gastonia Police said he crashed his Jeep Grand Cherokee into the side of Eastridge Animal Hospital early Thursday morning.
Police identified the driver as Jonathan David Wilson, 28, of Dallas, N.C.
Police believed Wilson was traveling at a high rate of speed coming off of Aberdeen Boulevard onto East Franklin Boulevard when he lost control, ran off the roadway, and hit the corner of the building just after 12:15 a.m.
Gaston Emergency Medical Services pronounced Wilson dead at the scene.
The Dallas Rescue Squad said Jonathan Wilson was the son of its chaplain. The squad is now supporting the family through this tough time.
"It's just very devastating that he lost his life,” said Windy Matheson, receptionist for Eastridge Animal Hospital. “It's heartbreaking."
Matheson and other employees spent the day cleaning up the inside and outside of the animal hospital. A large hold on the side is covered by a tarp and roped off with caution tape.
Matheson said all animals were being kept in another part of the building, and none were hurt in the crash.
She said that corner of the building houses labs, bathrooms, and exam rooms. The hospital lost approximately $20,000 worth of medications when the car crashed through, but Matheson said she’s thankful it wasn’t any worse.
"If it would have been at a different time, it could have been a vet or vet techs or clients or even a dog or an animal, and it's devastating,” she said.
Matheson said the hospital has reordered medications and hopes to have those in house by Friday to be able to open up on Friday and Saturday for emergencies.
The cleanup and repairs will take some time, but Matheson said the hope is to have the hospital back to regular business by Monday.
"It's a blessing and a heartbreak at the same time,” Matheson said. “It's devastating, and my heart goes out to all of them."