Marion building bearing Mountain Dew plaque hit by truck, driver charged

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MARION, Va. (WJHL) – A driver has been charged after crashing into a building in Marion that bears the town’s plaque tying it to Mountain Dew.

According to town spokesperson Ken Heath and Marion Fire-EMS, the crash occurred shortly before 6:30 a.m. Friday at 517 N Main Street. The building houses a chiropractic center, and the corner of the building features a marker claiming Marion as the place where the formula for Mountain Dew was invented.

1 shot at Marion farmers market, subject in custody

Marion Fire-EMS reported a Ford F-150 hit the building at a “fairly high rate of speed.”

The driver reportedly suffered minor injuries. She was identified by town leaders as Nikita Compton, 31.

According to Heath, Compton was arrested and charged with reckless driving and driving under the influence of drugs pending lab results. She also had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear on a previous charge, Heath reported.

Debris was cleared from the building so two people living on the second floor could leave. Marion Fire-EMS stated the building was shored up to stabilize it until a structural engineer could survey the damage.

Heath stated in a news release that the building is the latest in the area to be hit by a vehicle. The former Happy’s building next door was destroyed after a similar crash in recent years, and the nearby King Bridge was also “taken out of service by two consecutive vehicle crashes.”

The Town of Marion has actively been working to obtain a Virginia Historic Marker to acknowledge Bill Jones as the person who acquired and reformulated the Mountain Dew recipe in Marion before selling it to PepsiCo.

Marion natives have long claimed their town as the birthplace of the drink, while Johnson City has its own historic marker claiming to be the home of the soft drink.

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