Three people were injured Thursday when a man pulling out of a parking spot in Brentwood crashed his SUV into a supermarket, struck two parked cars, and then drove into a clothing shop, Suffolk County police said.
Police said the crashes started about 3:30 p.m. when a 74-year-old man, whom authorities did not identify, in a 2000 Ford Expedition, instead of backing out of a parking space, drove forward into the Brentwood Food Bazaar Supermarket on Wicks Road. He then reversed the vehicle, hitting two parked cars and driving into a Rainbow clothing store, police said.
The driver and two people in the supermarket were taken to Southside Hospital to be treated for minor injuries, police said.
Police had no further details immediately available.
“I was inside the [Rainbow] store when all I saw was the SUV running into the supermarket next door and then he [the driver] reversed and pushed one of our employee’s [parked] Jeep into the middle of the road in front of the store,” said Rainbow manager Josephine Vargas. “It sounded like he speeded up and then he came right into the front of our store.”
Vargas said the SUV came “all the way inside” the women’s shop, crashing through mannequins and clothing racks, and knocking out four big windows in the front.
“The Town of Islip has shut down the store until it’s fixed,” Vargas said. “Thank God it wasn’t worse. A lot of times kids are sitting down on the platform with the mannequins waiting for their mothers.”
Vargas said about five employees and 15 customers were inside the clothing store at the time. The people inside were screaming, crying and running outside, she said.
Vargas said afterward she went to see the supermarket damage. “It tore down the whole front wall of the supermarket,” Vargas said of the SUV.
“I saw ladies on the cashier line with debris on top of them,” she said.
Vargas said the driver of the SUV was wearing an oxygen mask, which he uses all the time, and she recognized him as someone who drives people in his SUV to and from the supermarket.
Two female passengers were inside the SUV when it crashed into Rainbow Shops, Vargas said.
Vargas said she wasn’t sure when Rainbow Shops would reopen.
A worker at the supermarket who declined to give his name said, “The storefront got damaged” and about “a third” of the SUV crashed into the market before moving on to the Rainbow Shop.