GARDEN CITY, Rich County — Garden City residents are getting together to help the family that owns the store that was destroyed when a truck driver lost control of his rig and plowed through the building.
When Darin Pugmire opened Pugstones Sporting over 18 years ago, he never imagined he could lose the business in just seconds, but that’s exactly what happened as the semitractor-trailer slammed through the front of the building Oct. 10.
Utah Highway Patrol troopers say the semi driven by Ahmed M. Abdelgader, 31, of Omaha, Nebraska, was driving erratically as it entered an intersection with state Route 30 in Garden City about 6:30 p.m. It ran a stop sign as it attempted to turn onto S.R. 30 before it rolled and jackknifed into a nearby sporting goods store, officials added.
“The impact was so great that there was nothing left,” Pugmire said. “Out of nowhere … it just happened. Makes you rethink a lot of things.”
While the building was insured, Pugmire said it will not cover all of his losses. He has continued to receive bills, even though the building that once housed his business is gone. Pugmire said even the foundation will likely have to be torn out.
Ever since the crash, people have offered to help. Many of those efforts came together Thursday as Garden City officials announced plans for a fundraising dinner and auction to be held for the Pugmires.
“I help a lot, but I hate to receive, and so this was hard,” Pugmire said. “I wanted to say no to it, but I can’t because I’m always upset when someone tells me ‘no,’ when I’m trying to help them.”
Garden City Mayor Mike Leonhardt said many people and business owners were working together to make the fundraiser happen.Comment on this story
“We have a very close-knit community, and that’s what it’s all about,” Leonhardt said. “There were some tears shed as we told him what we were doing. He’s been a great asset to our community.”
A City Council member himself, Pugmire said he wasn’t surprised by the generosity.
“It’s very, very, very humbling,” Pugmire said. “I truly love it here, because of how much help everyone is to one another, especially in times like this.”
The fundraiser dinner and auction will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 27 at the Sunrise Resort Conference Center in Harbor Village.