Vehicle crashes into Caribou shopping plaza after driver steps on gas, not brake

Caribou Fire Chief Scott Susi (left) and Sam Robertson work to extract a 2005 Saturn sport utility vehicle from a Main Street building in Caribou on Friday afternoon.
Natalie De La Garza | Aroostook Republican & News
Caribou Fire Chief Scott Susi (left) and Sam Robertson work to extract a 2005 Saturn sport utility vehicle from a Main Street building in Caribou on Friday afternoon.
Posted Aug. 29, 2014, at 8:13 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 29, 2014, at 9:36 p.m.

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CARIBOU, Maine — After the driver of a 2005 Saturn sport utility vehicle accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake, the vehicle went through the front window and wall of a business in a small shopping plaza on Main Street on Friday afternoon.

Patricia Nickerson of Caribou was shaken up but not injured when she crashed into Patrick St. Peter and Sons, Inc. at about 2 p.m. Friday.

No one inside was injured. Adam St. Peter, a co-owner of the business, was in the back of the building when the crash occurred. His brother, Ryan, also a co-owner, left the front office minutes earlier.

“I thought it was the water heater blowing or something. It just sounded like an explosion,” St. Peter said. “The office is trashed.”

Despite the hole in the wall, he said, the company, which specializes in residential and commercial pellet boilers and heat pumps, remained open for business.

The business and the vehicle were insured.

Cher’s New Wave hair salon, one door down in the shopping plaza, also stayed open.

“It was pretty loud — quite a thump,” hairdresser Rose Krenan described.

She said the wall moved when the vehicle struck but there wasn’t any structural damage to the salon store.

“But over there, they had to shut the electricity off because some wires were damaged in the process,” Krenan said, referring to the Patrick St. Peter and Sons storefront.

Caribou Police Officers Ed Dubie and Kevin St. Peter responded to the scene, along with Caribou Fire Chief Scott Susi and firefighter/paramedics Cory Felix, Greg Rideout and Adam Chartier. The vehicle was towed from the scene by Dan and Sam Robertson of Beaulieu’s Garage and Body Shop.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time the building at 535-539 Main Street has been struck by a vehicle. Adam St. Peter and Kernan said a truck struck the other end of the multi-business building about five years ago.

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