Government Police/Fire

Driver Crashes into West Hartford Center Restaurant and Store [Updated]

Damage to Savoy on LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center. Courtesy photo

Police are investigating an incident that took place at lunchtime Thursday, when an 88-year-old female driver crashed into a building on LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police said that an 88-year-old woman driving a Hyundai jumped the curb while parking on LaSalle Road Thursday afternoon, striking the building and damaging the façade of Savoy Pizzeria and JoS. A. Bank Clothiers.

“The car jumped the curb and scraped along the building from Savoy to JoS. A. Bank,” Capt. Michael Perruccio said.

The crash happened at 12:14 p.m. on Thursday.

According to Perruccio, one woman who had been on the sidewalk complained of knee pain sustained from jumping out of the way of the car, but declined treatment. The car did not strike any pedestrians or people inside the building, and the driver was not injured, police said.

Dante Cistulli, the managing partner for Savoy (which is part of the Max Restaurant Group), said Thursday afternoon that it was so fortunate no one was hurt. “We have a bench right out front, and luckily no one was sitting there.”

Of all of the places on the building that could be hit, that section of the façade, just to the left of the door, was the best place, Cistulli said. It did not impact the structural integrity of the business, or interfere with the large open window, where people dine alongside the sidewalk.

The town’s building inspector had already checked out the damage, deemed the premises safe.

“We won’t be closing, and we won’t need to close for repair,” Cistulli said. “We will be open for business as usual.”

The driver was issued a citation and infraction for unsafe movement, Perruccio said, for losing control of her vehicle while pulling into a parking space.

The damage to the building was minor, Perruccio said, and occupants did not need to be evacuated.

The incident remains under investigation.

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  • Another right foot pedal error, part of the right foot braking epidemic? Let’s make sure we blame the driver, especially if they are a women or old (over 40!). Never blame the guys in charge of driver legislation and training who set the driver up to fail. They forced this driver to brake an automatic transmission vehicle with only the right foot. They did this knowing they had 0 Scientific Justification and that right foot braking is too complicated and difficult to mentally maintain with age, inefficient (poor stopping distance) and dangerous (subject to right foot pedal error) compared to the simpler and safer (But girly!) left foot braking method. See DOT HS 811 597, 812 058and 812 431 (spaces required). NHTSA refuses to use the term “right foot pedal errors” but instead calls it “pedal misapplication” and always blames the drivers for not being experts. Score to date, 150,000 dead (7 Every Day), millions injured, and billions in costs. The price male drivers, both in and out of government, are prepared to pay to maintain their systemic belief in a “Killer” braking method based on the scientific foundation of, “That’s the way it’s always been taught”! This is not about which braking method is safer but rather why they refuse to scientifically compare the two methods and continue to produce misinformation about other proposed braking methods. Was it driver error or the way we taught them to brake?

    • I challenge you to point out the exact wording in the DOT documents you cite that prove your claim. If you can’t of if you ignore me, that will prove to all those who read this that you are nothing but a two-bit troll with no life what-so-ever.

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