An out-of-control SUV plowed into the Dollar Depot Plus in the Niantic section of East Lyme Thursday afternoon.
Startled customers and a worker inside at the time thankfully were not in the Honda CR-V’s path.
Police said the driver had pulled into a parking spot outside the store and accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake.
The SUV’s impact shattered a glass window, rocked display cases and damaged some items.
“Almost the entire car was in there which is different than the two times that the cars went through before,” said Maureen Brubaker, who works nearby.
In the past six months, three vehicles have now struck stores in this small strip mall.
“I think it’s the wheels on these SUV’s. They jump the curb a lot easier,” said George Mitchell, one of the mall’s owners.
Twice the unintended target has been the Dollar Depot. Both times the same worker was inside and thankfully unharmed.
“She’s very lucky. Somebody is smiling down on her,” said Brubaker.
The brothers who have owned this mall for 40 years said they’re happy no one has been hurt.
And their sense of humor has not been shattered.
“I told him tomorrow morning let’s get a permit and make it a drive-through,” said Terry Mitchell, the other mall owner.
In all seriousness, the owners are thinking about installing posts to prevent this from happening again.
Police said the driver of Thursday’s crash will not face charges and called this an honest mistake.