The woman driver was making a lefthand turn onto Jamaica Avenue from 214th Street after picking her child up from day-care when another car hit her, witnesses said, causing her car to jump the divider and slide nearly a block, finally stopping at the front door of Yu Yee Restaurant at 214-17 Jamaica Ave.
By 7 p.m., the restaurant was back to taking dinner orders, but neighbors on the street were still lingering at the scene, some shaken by the afternoon's events.
"All the time there are people here," Louie Garcia, an employee at a furniture store on the same block, said of the curb in front of the Chinese restaurant where a bus stop is located. "Good thing it was late because if it was at about 2 o'clock, it would be a mess."
Garcia witnessed the entire accident, beginning with the mother's making a left-hand turn onto Jamaica Avenue, where she collided with the black car that he had seen driving up and down that street multiple times that day.
"The guy who hit her was speeding all day long, two hours before the accident," he said. After the woman's car careened into the storefront, Garcia said the black car left the scene, just prior to the police's arrival.
"He stopped but then he left," he said.
The 105th Precinct could not be reached to comment as to whether there was an investigation into the accident.
"The little one was like 4 years old, she was doing good, she was moving, there was a little blood on her face, but not too much," he said. The ambulance took her to North Shore LIJ Hospital.
Another witness, a young girl who was returning home from school by bus when the accident happened, said she was lucky to be alive.
"I was just waiting for the bus and I heard 'boom,'" she said. "If I had walked any earlier, God forbid, it could have been me."
Winnie McDonald, who lives in the neighborhood and stopped by the scene on her way home, said there was a similar accident on Jamaica Avenue last summer in which an entire storefront was demolished. She believes the 214th Street intersection, which is directly across from a Key Foods store, needs a traffic light.
"It's just that people don't have courtesy," she said.
She saw two people, who appeared to be a couple who live above the restaurant, come out with a 3-week-old baby. Emergency personnel on the scene said those three who were in the building at the time of the accident were being taken to an area hospital and were not seriously injured.
The upstairs tenants were left without a front door to their apartment, but were allowed to return to the building. The structural damage, firemen said, would not prevent them from being able to live there.
No one was injured at the restaurant.
The owner declined to talk about the accident on the basis that he did not speak sufficient English.
The owner of the neighboring business, NY Realtors, said he had nearly 40 employees in his store when the accident occurred.
"I heard a big noise, the car came over at about 60 miles per hour, the building shook," the owner, who wished to remain unnamed, said. "We have a lot of people here. We're all scared."
Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@times
©2004 Community News Group
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