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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – An empty business was quickly flooded with first responders moments after a pickup truck crashed into a storefront off Highway 72 just west of Ryland Pike.

Nearby business owner Barbara Thomas has been concerned about that stretch of road before. She says she’s witnessed many wrecks there, but this one was personal.

Central Volunteer Fire Department’s Michael Harville was behind the wheel — and he went to school with Thomas’ son.

“The fire department came out,” she said. “They established a pulse and they took him to Huntsville Hospital.”

He passed soon after, shaking Steve Woods, the friend he was on his way to see.

“I just talked to him about ten minutes ago, just before he wrecked,” said Woods. He said he knew something was up when Harville failed to answer his phone.

“Well I waited 30-40 minutes and I got worried and I said it’s not to show up, because he always does,” said Woods. Moments later, he got the news.

A trail of tire marks and busted storefront are all that’s left.

Thomas says it could have been prevented if the state put in a guardrail on the shoulder that has seen many accidents.

“How many lives is it going to cost before the state puts one in?”

She says cars often drive off the shoulder. But concerns about the road are taking a backseat to mourning a young man who was close to her family.

“He was always smiling, always,” said Woods.