- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) - Westerly police are trying to determine why a van crashed through a wall of a local Wal-Mart store.

Authorities say the van smashed into the store around 12:20 a.m. Wednesday and ended up partially inside. Witnesses said they saw it being driven erratically.

Police say the 18-year-old driver, Thomas Brightman of Charlestown, had to be extricated from the vehicle. He suffered serious injuries and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital. Police said the injuries don’t appear to be life-threatening. No one else was in the van, and no one in the 24-hour store was hurt.

The store was evacuated and closed for about 45 minutes. It re-opened after a building official checked the damage.

Police say they’ve interviewed witnesses and will be looking at surveillance video footage.

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