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Historic general store damaged following auto collision

A historic general store in Meridian is now in need of repairs.

“Early Saturday morning on Sept. 24th at approximately 2:50 a.m., 9-1-1 received a call about a motor-vehicle crash,” said Ward Calhoun, chief deputy of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department.

The department said a man crashed a pickup truck into the front porch of the Causeyville General Store.

“When deputies arrived on the scene, no one was present at the time. Based upon our investigation, the driver was later determined to be Jesse Ray Davis Johnston. He was arrested the next day and charged later charged with leaving the scene,” said Calhoun.

He added that based upon the investigation, the vehicle left the roadway, struck several mailboxes, ramped up, became airborne, and then landed on the steps, striking a column that then collapsed and caused the front area of the roof to fall down on top of the vehicle.

Johnston has since been released on a $500 bond. The store, which closed two years ago, first opened in 1895. The owner, Dorothy Hagwood, said the store has been in her family since 1941. She assessed the damage.

“Shutters got torn down but the windows were ok. The complete floor of the entire porch has to be removed because it broke in half because it was shoved so far. All of the brick posts and the steps on each side have to all be replaced because they were damaged.”

She’s in the process of making repairs and said residents can expect the store to reopen soon.

“I thought I’d open it on weekends. We’ll have a lot of glassware and china in there, and we’ll have soft drinks and things like that.”

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