A 36-year-old Cicero woman who drove her sports utility vehicle through the front doors of a North Riverside arts and crafts supplies store on May 31 did not have a valid driver’s license, according to police.
No one was seriously hurt when the woman apparently hit the gas instead of the brake and her blue Ford Expedition slammed into two other vehicles before hurtling through the glass doors of Michael’s, 7231 24th St., in the North Riverside Plaza shopping center.
“It was amazing no one was hit inside,” said North Riverside Police Sgt. Chris Boenzi, who was the supervising officer responding to the scene.
A Westchester woman shopping inside Hancock Fabrics next door said she heard the sound of a violent crash.
“I just knew they took a wall out,” said the woman, who declined to give her name. “It was a hard impact type of thing.”
The Expedition was traveling southbound in a parking aisle approaching the store about 2:45 p.m. When the vehicle reached the end of the aisle, the vehicle accelerated and struck two vehicles, including a tan Chevy Tahoe, which had stopped in front of the store.
The Tahoe ended up on the sidewalk while the Expedition slammed through the glass front doors and window, coming to a rest about 15 feet inside the store. Two passengers inside the Tahoe were taken to Loyola University Medical center with minor injuries, said police.
Surveillance camera footage shows two people walking past the front door inside the store about 18 seconds before the vehicle smashed into the store. The SUV missed the front check-out counter by just a couple of feet.
The driver of the Ford Expedition was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failure to yield and not possessing a valid license. She will appear in court on July 13.
According to the police report, the building did not suffer any structural damage, but the crash smashed the front door, and debris — including bricks, glass, metal and broken merchandise — littered the front of the store.
Michael’s remained closed to the public on as of Tuesday, June 2.