A car jumped the curb and into the wall of Sgt. Pepperoni’s on North Eagleville Road around 1:45 a.m. Thursday.
The driver mixed up reverse and drive when attempting to pull out of the parking lot, according to State Police. There were no injuries to employees, customers or the driver of the vehicle.
“We got very lucky. There are gas and electrical lines on that wall and they were all missed,” said Shaun Comins, the owner of Sgt. Pepperoni’s. “We were close to closing so there were very few customers in the store, and no employees were injured.”
Employee Sean Gallo, who was almost hit by a set of metal shelves, shared similar luck. .
“I looked out the window and saw headlights coming very fast. I moved to one side and the shelves just fell in. I caught it with my arm.” Gallo said. “My only thought was, ‘oh my god, am I going to get hit by a car at work, inside the building?’”
Despite the State Police requiring the scene to remain intact overnight, Sgt. Pepperoni’s was open the next morning.
“We had set the marinara sauce out for cooling and it ended up all over the floor,” Gallo said. “It took a while to clean it all up.”
The vehicle bent in the glass of the windows and damaged the brick wall of the building. It has been replaced by plywood for the foreseeable future. There are no plans for immediate repair of the building.
“We will be closed a little bit over the summer for repairs,” Comins said.
There will be no long-term impact on food delivery to UConn students due to the accident. Only one pizza order was ultimately affected. The remainder of the orders for the night had been removed from the shelves minutes before the impact, according to Gallo.
In order to impact the building, the car had to push through a metal railing, and jump the curb. The vehicle sustained relatively little damage and was later able to be driven off the premises.
“We’re a little baffled by that,” Comins said. “It got hung up on a cinder block when it was towed away from the building.”
When troopers arrived at the scene, the driver was found to be under the influence. They were arrested for driving under the influence, according State Police.
“We got very, very lucky,” Comins said. “We all had pretty much the same reaction of pure disbelief.”
Sarah McNeal is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.