A Chico store is back open, less than 24 hours after an SUV came crashing through the front of the store, shattering the glass windows and knocking over everything in its path.
But things aren’t completely back to normal. With the charge card machine destroyed, they are only completing cash transactions.
KRCR News Channel 7 has obtained surveillance video showing the red Ford Explorer crashing into the Cigarettes City store near East Avenue and the Esplanade. Cameras recorded the collision from three different angles.
In addition to the collision, the video also shows two clerks who were scared for their lives. Debbie Garcia cut her foot on broken glass trying to get out of the store.
“Unless you were there you just have no idea how the impact was,” said Garcia.
In the surveillance video, Garcia is seen kneeling down behind the counter with another store clerk next to her when a red SUV burst through the glass.
“The explosion from all of that glass,” said Garcia. “I thought we were hit by a bomb actually.”
The SUV was driven by a woman in her twenties. She’s a regular customer of Cigarettes City. She was wearing a full cast on her right leg, her driving leg. She thought she was stepping on the brake, but instead stepped on the gas pedal.
Neither Debbie nor her colleague Heather Sadler, were seriously hurt. But even a day later, Sadler was visibly rattled.
“It was so fast, I didn't even have time to think,” said Sadler with a sigh “It was scary.”
Sadler has saved all three angles of the crash surveillance video on her i-Phone, a reminder of how sometimes a little luck can be the difference between life and death.
“I thought I was all broken, but I could stand up and then I just checked myself,” said Sadler. “I don't know how I got my phone. I blacked out. And somehow called 9-1-1.”
As for the driver of the SUV, she's embarrassed, but not seriously hurt. The worst pain might come when she gets her next insurance notice.