West Hartford Police have charged a driver who slammed a vehicle into a building on New Britain Avenue early Thursday morning.
By Ronni Newton
The driver of a sedan that continued straight across the intersection of New Park Avenue and plowed into a stone wall, fence, and the building occupied by Kellie Burke Interiors and J.T. Burke & Sons, Inc. at 1041 New Britain Ave. at 1:30 a.m. Thursday has been charged with driving under the influence, West Hartford Police Capt. Eric Rocheleau said.
According to Rocheleau, an officer driving down New Britain Avenue came upon the scene and saw the vehicle where it came to rest after hitting the building. The driver, Yamitxa Colon, 32, of Cypress Road in Newington, was also charged with failure to drive in the proper lane.
When the officer arrived at the scene the driver and a passenger had exited the vehicle and remained on the scene. Neither party was hurt, Rocheleau said.
Kellie Burke, who purchased the Elmwood building in 2016, said she was at home and asleep when the police called her at 1:30 a.m. to inform her about the crash.
The complete incident was captured on surveillance video by her security system, and shows a dark-colored sedan headed south on New Park Avenue and continuing without slowing down as it headed straight through the light at the intersection with New Britain Avenue and into the wall, fence, and finally bouncing back into the roadway after hitting and shattering the plate glass windows of the building. No one was in the building at the time.
“We love our West Hartford Police,” Burke told We-Ha.com. “They were here in five minutes flat.”
In addition to West Hartford Police, the West Hartford Fire Department also responded due to a gasoline spill resulting from the crash. “They were awesome,” Burke said.
Late Thursday morning, Burke said she had already been visited by the building inspector. The premises is safe for occupancy, and repairs were getting underway.
Renovating the industrial-style building, which was constructed in 1930, has been a “labor of love,” Burke said. It’s occupied not only by her interior design business, but also by the family business J.T. Burke & Sons. “We are inside and outside renovators,” she said.
She said updates and repainting of the exterior were completed just two months ago.
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