Sperry Mayor Reflects On Downtown History After Deadly Crash Causes Building Collapse

A deadly crash and fire in Sperry early Sunday morning caused a historic building to collapse.  At last check, Sperry Police officers are still working to notify the driver's family about the deadly crash. 

Monday, March 28th 2022, 5:00 pm



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A deadly crash and fire in Sperry early Sunday morning caused a historic building to collapse. 

At last check, Sperry Police officers are still working to notify the driver's family about the deadly crash. Witnesses told firefighters the driver was speeding down Main Street before crashing into the building. Flames took over the building, which is more than 100 years old, after police said someone crashed into it, sparking a fire and causing much of the building to collapse.

Firefighters from several departments were on the scene and got the driver out of the building, but police said the person died at the hospital. 

"We have a 19-member volunteer fire department. They were all here,” Mayor Debra Burch said. 

Burch has lived in Sperry for 30 years and has heard countless downtown stories and memories from people in town. 

"In the 1970s it was the Farrier college dorm,” she said. “And you could actually drive through town and see the cowboys out here roping and practicing their rodeo skills." 

Burch said in the mid-70s, the dorms closed and the building has been abandoned ever since. It was just one part of the downtown strip of buildings that have sat frozen in time for decades. 

"When it was booming we had five cafes, barbershop, dominos club, all of those things that are traditional with small towns. And we're trying to see that again,” she said. 

The mayor said there are ideas for the future of the Rexall Store, where a scene was filmed for "The Outsiders." 

A lot of the building is still standing. Burch said a structural engineer will have to come out and see if the standing exterior walls can be saved. 

Related Story: Driver Dies After Crashing Into Sperry Building, Sparking Fire

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