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Five people hurt when driver crashes through bagel shop

By Rob Polansky and Matt McFarland

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    WALLINGFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — A driver slammed a vehicle through a bakery in Wallingford on Friday morning and left five people hurt.

Firefighters and emergency responders were called to the Bruegger’s Bagels at 970 North Colony Rd.

Eyewitness photos from the scene showed a white 2023 Jeep Cherokee Hybrid fully inside the business.

Channel 3 was told that the driver came right off Route 5, through a parking lot, and into the shop. It happened around 10 a.m.

People were inside the the business at the time. They said they heard a loud crash, then noticed the SUV inside pushing up against a booth that had customers in it.

“I was at the register helping a customer ringing her out and I heard this loud noise coming from the side of me and I didn’t know what it was, thought maybe a table fell over, then a sheet of glass came flying at us,” said Juliana Vecchio. “The woman came out of the car. There were some people on the ground who were hurt, we were just trying to figure out what to do, call 911, but it was just so scary.”

Five customers were transported to the hospital. One of them was seriously hurt, according to officials on the scene. However, police said none of the injuries were life-threatening.

“This is a frightening situation, everybody not guarded, you’re just coming in for a coffee, a sandwich, a bagel and this is something very unexpected,” said Officer Alex Torres with the Wallingford Police Department.

The building inspector was called to the scene.

“Like the guy that was pinned under, they said he will be okay. I asked the fire department, police department if anybody was seriously injured and they said, no everybody is going to be okay, so we’re very, very lucky,” said Erica Vitale, manager.

Wallingford police’s traffic division headed up the investigation into how it happened.

Channel 3 was told that the 63-year-old driver of the SUV has been cooperating. She was not hurt and told investigators that there was an issue with her accelerator.

The Jeep was removed.

Police said Bruegger’s Bagels would be boarded up and closed for business.

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