Car dealership apologizes for damaging hay field

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IDAHO FALLS — The general manager of an automobile dealership is apologizing for damaging a hay field near his property.

Cannon Smith runs Smith Honda and Smith Chevrolet on Sunnyside Road near Interstate 15. His father, Stafford Smith, has also owned the field directly east of their dealerships for 20 years.

Curt Jenkins leases and farms hay on the property.

A few days ago, the dealership decided to shoot a promotional video showing a truck spinning doughnuts on the field. The video was posted on the Smith Group Facebook page Tuesday and within hours, dozens of people expressed outrage on social media at the damage caused by the truck.

“I understood at that point just what we’d done. I knew it was our property but realized I wasn’t respecting Curt’s rights as one who has been working the ground for 30 years or more,” Cannon Smith tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Stafford Smith has owned property east of his car dealerships along Sunnyside Road for 20 years. | Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com

Jenkins says it’s hard to know if any damage was done to his crop until it starts to come up later this year.

Smith removed the video from Facebook within hours and has spoken with Jenkins several times to try and make things right.

“It was a major lapse of judgment on our behalf and that’s not going to happen again,” Smith says. “He and I have figured out how to accommodate any financial issues that he has as a result of this.”

In a statement to EastIdahoNews.com, Jenkins says:

“The video was done in poor taste, and the Smith Group and Cannon Smith have recognized that. They are doing their best to rectify the situation, which we appreciate. Thank you for your concern, but know that the situation has been handled appropriately, and Cannon has been very apologetic.”

Cannon Smith, the general manager of the Smith Auto Group, speaks with EastIdahoNews.com Tuesday, Feb. 13. | Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com.

Smith admits the company has made some errors in its hundred-year history and he hopes to use this as a learning experience.

“I’m just so glad and grateful that Curt and his family have been very understanding and willing to work and find a solution,” Smith says. “We’re going to make mistakes. The important thing is what we do from those mistakes. Do we grow from them, or do we just try to run away from those mistakes? This is certainly a growing opportunity for our team.”

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