One morning, two separate collisions downtown
By Scott Bellile
Automobiles struck two downtown New London properties in separate one-vehicle collisions on Friday morning.
One occurred outside Family Dollar, 304 Wolf River Plaza.
The other occurred at the residence that is home to Lone Oak’s Dog Grooming, 303 N. Shawano St.
Nobody was injured in either of the crashes.
Family Dollar remains closed due to substantial damage to its entrance.
Police were called to Family Dollar at 8:11 a.m., according to New London Police Sgt. Earl Ruckdashel.
He said a woman parked in front of the store intended to back out of her parking stall but accelerated forward instead. Her vehicle jumped the curb and sidewalk and struck the exterior of the building.
The vehicle slammed into the wall to the right of the doorway, causing the brickwork to begin caving in. It also smashed the front doorframe, shattering the glass door and a window above it. Glass landed all over the sidewalk and inside of the store.
Kathleen Cieslak, manager at Family Dollar, said store staff are not authorized to talk with the media. She referred the Press Star to Family Dollar’s corporate office, which so far has not returned a call requesting comment.
Oak’s Dog Grooming
The crash outside Oak’s Dog Grooming took down a tree in the front yard but did not damage the structure of the home.
At about 10 a.m., a woman parked toward the west end of the parking lot at Festival Foods, 308 N. Shawano St., reversed out of a parking stall. She intended to brake but instead held down the gas pedal.
Believing she was experiencing brake failure, she panicked. She hit both the brake and the gas pedals.
This sent her backward through a row of unoccupied parking stalls, onto the sidewalk, into Shawano Street and into the front yard of Oak’s Dog Grooming. Her vehicle knocked down a tree and came to a rest.
Ruckdashel said no traffic was coming as the driver rolled across the street, so no other vehicles were hit. Witnesses told police the car moved at a slow rate of speed during the entire accident.
No tickets issued
“I don’t believe there’s going to be citations for anybody,” said Ruckdashel, who did not release the name of either driver.
Both accidents originated in a private parking lot where Ruckdashel said police have fewer options in the traffic citations they can issue: operating while intoxicated, hit-and-run or reckless driving.
Both drivers were sober. They remained at the scenes after the crashes. They did not intentionally drive in a reckless manner, Ruckdashel said.
Both situations came down to the drivers being in a hurry and not thinking through the driving process, Ruckdashel said. He reminds people to slow down and pay attention not only on the road, but wherever they may be in their everyday lives.