Car punches hole in Blue Hill market

Sgt. Scott Kane with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office talks with two unidentified people involved in an SUV's crash in the Merrill & Hinckley store building in Blue Hill on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. There were no serious injuries in the incident, which opened a hole in the building's basement.
Sgt. Scott Kane with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office talks with two unidentified people involved in an SUV's crash in the Merrill & Hinckley store building in Blue Hill on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. There were no serious injuries in the incident, which opened a hole in the building's basement.
Posted Sept. 19, 2011, at 7:19 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 20, 2011, at 5:52 p.m.
A crowd watches as a tow truck operator (on the ground) attaches a cable to the rear of an SUV that crashed through the wall of the Merrill & Hinkley market in Blue Hill on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Store owner John Bannister (standing at far right near the rear of the car) said this is at least the second time a car has smashed into the building.
A crowd watches as a tow truck operator (on the ground) attaches a cable to the rear of an SUV that crashed through the wall of the Merrill & Hinkley market in Blue Hill on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Store owner John Bannister (standing at far right near the rear of the car) said this is at least the second time a car has smashed into the building.

BLUE HILL, Maine — A sport utility vehicle crashed into the front of a Blue Hill market on Monday afternoon, opening a gaping hole in the building’s basement. There were no serious injuries.

The crash occurred just before 4 p.m. at Merrill & Hinckley, a popular market located just off Main Street in downtown Blue Hill. A Subaru Forester with Massachusetts plates drove into a false wall made of stone that faces one of the store’s parking spots. The vehicle came to rest with the entire hood and two front tires inside the basement.

No additional information was available Monday evening about the driver, any passengers or what led the car to go through the wall.

John Bannister, owner of the small grocery, said the crash knocked a few boxes of cereal and other items off shelves but otherwise did not appear to have done any damage inside the store. Bannister said he did not even hear or feel the impact and only learned about it when an employee said he had better check outside.

Monday’s crash was at least the second time that a car has smashed into the building. Bannister said the last incident happened 15 to 20 years ago.

A crowd of spectators gathered around the market to watch and snap pictures as a tow truck used a cable and winch to slowly yank the car out of the basement. The car and stone crunched and crackled as the wrecker attempted to angle the vehicle properly to get the tires over the remaining wall.

The wrecker crew was able to start the car and drive it away from the site, however. The market remained open during the incident.

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