Truck hits indoor playground, no injuries
A pickup truck smashed through a children's party place in Valley Stream Thursday, but no one was injured, police said.
Ten youngsters, ages 1 to 6, were at Children's Safari, playing in the arcade and at various activities, when a Toyota Tundra crashed through the Rockaway Avenue store's windows and into an empty room reserved for building stuffed animals, said co-manager Therese Lovett.
"The kids were fine," said Lovett, who had been setting up tables for a Saturday party. "The parents were the ones who got a little bit more dramatic, 'Oh, oh, oh my God,' that sort of stuff. Today was an adventure."
The driver got out of his car without saying a word, walked down the block and leaned on the bus stop pole to wait for police, Lovett said.
"He was just as calm as a cucumber; maybe he was in shock," the store manager said. "He claims he was trying to make a U-turn -- this is what he told one of the officers -- and instead of stepping on the brake, he stepped on the gas and kind of floored it and boom, he went right through the window."
The accident happened at 4 p.m. and the children and parents were ushered out the back door afterward, Lovett said.
Nassau police said they did not have details on the accident, but no one was arrested and no injuries reported.
In the past two years, cars have crashed into at least three Rockaway Avenue storefronts, merchants there said, and they plan to talk soon to village officials about making the street safer.Nearby is Merrick Avenue, a major road, and they think the speeding and problems there spill onto Rockaway Avenue, which has one driving and one parking lane each way.
Right across from Children's Safari, Shear Dimensions hair salon owner Annette Pellegrino was working at the reception desk one Thanksgiving eve when a "car drove past me.
"My co-worker and I look up and there's a car sitting at the front desk," she said. "Then he backed out and the car gets stuck on the curb or something."