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Out-of-control SUV plows into East Sacramento bridal gown business, takes off

By Melanie Wingo

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    SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) — Sophia Santiago has a philosophy about being in the bridal gown business.

“When you’re looking for your dress, you’re not just looking for your dress — you’re looking for your shop,” said Santiago, manager of Onyx Bridal in East Sacramento. “It really helps enhance your experience.”

Her shop, however, can’t do what they do best, for a bit.

“We’re anticipating about, just a month or two, of having to just be closed,” said Santiago.

The closure: all because an SUV smashed into Onyx Bridal on Saturday. The wreck is captured on surveillance video from inside the store.

In the moments following the impact, Santiago rushed toward the wreck to figure out what was going on.

“I was absolutely terrified,” she said. “But at a certain point, you gotta protect what you love. And I love this place.”

She could only stand helpless, however, as she watched the driver take off.

Then came a rush of emotions.

“I was furious,” Santiago explained. “We had just [finished setting] up that area. I felt like it was finally complete. Like a home. And now we have to redo it all over again.”

It also hit her that the crash could have been so much worse. She’d been helping a bride-to-be, just minutes before a load-bearing wall, parallel to Alhambra Boulevard, came crashing in, right where the bride was trying on dresses.

“It was insanely loud,” Santiago said. “It ultimately sounded – as weird as it sounds – like a cartoon that has a wrecking ball and hits a building … I felt the building shake.”

The shop is waiting to hear a dollar figure on how much damage was caused by the crash. They’re meeting with their insurance company Monday.

According to Santiago, there’s also the loss of business to factor in.

“We had about 13 appointments [that] had to get canceled,” she said.

She hopes the shop gets back to wedding bliss, however, very soon.

“I just really love helping making people’s dreams come true,” Santiago said.

Sacramento Police Department tells KCRA 3 it has identified a suspect in connection to the hit-and-run crash.

They said an arrest will likely be made “in the near future.”

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