Jeep slams into two cars, then crashes into Merced store

February 23, 2013 12:47:40 AM PST
A supermarket in Merced is back open Friday after a Jeep crashed through one of its brick walls.

The accident happened Thursday around 6:30 p.m. on G Street near 20th Street. Crews spent hours patching up the hole in the store. The owners say they're thankful no one was seriously hurt, but if the crash happened just seconds sooner, it could have been a different story.

Surveillance video shows a customer walking down an aisle of the Save-More Market as an SUV comes crashing through the wall. The video shows the vehicle came very close to being hit by the Jeep and flying debris.

Employee Amelia Rivas said, "Everything just started falling and crashing down all of the sudden, there was just noise and glass everywhere, I just couldn't believe it."

Rivas spent Friday morning cleaning up some of the mess left behind by the accident as a construction crew patched up the wall. She says the driver is a frequent customer at this neighborhood store.

"He's a really nice guy, we see him on the regular, he lives right up the street, and I just hope that he's okay," Rivas said.

Police say the man drove across G Street, jumped the curb, and hit two cars before slamming through the brick wall.

Market Co-Owner Roma Kahlon said, "He was sitting inside, and he was totally confused, he didn't know either what happened."

Paramedics took the man to the hospital, but authorities say no one else was hurt in the accident.

Merced Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom McCall said, "it wasn't as bad as it may have looked from the street, so that was fortunate."

The store owners say a building inspector allowed them to open Friday morning, and they're hoping insurance will cover all of the damage. Merced Police have not yet released the driver's identity. He is expected to recover from his injuries. Investigators are still looking into why he crashed, but at this point he is not facing charges.


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