Car crashes into Dunsmuir Hardware

Cassandra Tiersma
A photo by Dunsmuir resident Tina Fava of the inside of Dunsmuir Hardware and the car that drove through the front of the building Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.

Downtown Dunsmuir retailers and customers heard a loud crash Friday afternoon that caught their attention. Unexpected Treasures thrift shop manager Becky Crowder said they “heard a loud crash” and everyone in the store rushed to the door to see what had happened.

Eyewitnesses outside of the shop said they were shocked to see an elderly female drive her car away from a nearby parking place on the southbound side of Dunsmuir Avenue, suddenly cross the street, and go straight into the middle of Dunsmuir Hardware store.

Store owner Ron McCloud and employee Larry Vandemark showed a place in the store where a female customer who narrowly missed being crushed was found on the floor, covered in debris. She was taken to the hospital for examination.

The other customer in the store at the time and a store employee, who were in the path of the oncoming car, both ran to the back of the store as the contents of the front of the store came barreling towards them as the car bulldozed though approximately 50 feet of the interior retail space.

Vandemark said his back was to the front door as he was returning to the cash register counter when he heard a loud bang. He said when he turned toward the sound, “All I could see was stuff moving around!”

The car demolished the northern half of the 45-foot storefront, shattering approximately 20 feet of plate glass window and knocking out a big, heavy antique wooden door.

Inside the store, the car plowed through a large, double-sided display shelving unit, hit the cash register counter, pushing the long counter like a massive plow blade until it stopped, blocked against the ends of three store aisle shelves.

The Dunsmuir Fire Department arrived quickly at the scene of the accident. They immediately tended to both the driver of the car and the customer who had fallen when the car crashed into the store. In addition to performing routine paramedic duties, the Dunsmuir Fire Department immediately took precautionary measures to clean up all the hazardous broken glass. They backed the car out of the building, then went straight to work framing in a new, temporary front wall to secure the premises.

Fire department volunteers worked swiftly and efficiently on the project until it was completed by nightfall.