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A 64-year-old Fresh Meadows woman lost control of her car and crashed through the front of the Mandee clothing store on Bell Boulevard Friday, causing no injuries but leaving behind a mess of shattered glass.
The apparently uninjured driver, whose name was not released, was taken to Flushing Hospital for examination but was conscious after the accident, said Officer Edward Buskirk of the 111th Precinct.
Buskirk said no one in the store or on Bell Boulevard was hurt in the 12:50 p.m. wreck, which destroyed the large glass store windows on the right side of the building at 42-19 Bell Blvd. The officer identified the driver only as a 64-year-old Fresh Meadows woman.
Buskirk said the woman did not remember how the accident happened, and the precincts Capt. Steven Braille said only that the driver lost control of her vehicle. No charges were filed against her.
Battalion Chief Paul Mannix said the building sustained only cosmetic not structural damage. The store reopened around 4:30 p.m. the same day, a Mandee spokeswoman said.
A police truck towed the late-model silver Honda Civic out of the stores front as a crowd watched in amazement.
I thought she wanted my parking space, said Major Sandra Steinberg, who was on her lunch break across the street with other soldiers at Fort Tottens 301st Support Group when they saw the Honda going in reverse on Bell Boulevard.
After they saw the car spin out of control and plow into the building, she and Sgt. Janice Santiago rushed to the womans aid and pulled her out of the car, Steinberg said.
She wasnt bleeding, Steinberg said. She was conscious. She knew her name.
Barbara Johnson, a manager at Mandee who had been working at the back of the womens clothing store when the crash happened, said about a dozen customers were shopping at the time but were not standing near the front door.
I just saw everything fall, said a shaken Johnson, who along with employee Cecilia Buendia evacuated all the customers.
Oh my God. I cant believe it, said Johnson. What a mess.
Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
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