By Jan Carabeo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Surveillance cameras captured the moment of impact Wednesday afternoon when an 86-year-old driver smashed through the front doors of a popular Northeast Philadelphia deli.
The dramatic video obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News shows the car crashing through the front doors of Steve Stein’s Famous Deli and Restaurant, sending glass flying, leaving doors dangling, and scaring nearly two dozen people inside, employees and patrons alike.
“It could have been a whole lot worse due to the fact that this 2011 Prius drove completely through the two front double doors and ended up at the rear counter of this deli,” Philadelphia Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
As the car made its way to that spot, you can see just how close it came to an employee working the register. Just feet separated her from serious injury.
“She was jolted, felt the vehicle strike the counter, which struck her,” Small said. “She refused to go to the hospital.”
The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the deli and restaurant on the 1600 block of Grant Avenue.
You can see the 86-year-old driver attempt to pull into the front parking spot. For some reason, he doesn’t stop and takes out the front counter and everything on it.
Once emergency crews arrive, they help the man from his car, and he walks away dazed, but not injured.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t a first for Famous.
In the past year, another car crashed into the restaurant section of the business. Since then, pillars were put in place so the business wouldn’t experience a repeat.
But it seems this driver just happened to find the perfect spot.
“You only have inches to get into the building, it was like threading a needle,” Small said.
No one was seriously injured in either crash.
That driver in Wednesday’s accident was not ticketed, but state police will re-evaluate his driving skills to determine if he can keep his license.
Meanwhile, Famous reopened Thursday. The front doors just need to be replaced, and the owner hopes insurance covers that cost.
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