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SUV plows into Raleigh Starbucks

Posted October 9, 2011
Updated October 10, 2011

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— Eight Starbucks customers and workers in Raleigh got an unexpected jolt Sunday morning when an SUV slammed through the glass door and stopped inside the coffee shop.

The blue BMW jumped the curb, crossed the sidewalk, crushed an outdoor dining table and didn't stop until it was all the way in the shop at 6282 Glenwood Ave. around 9:45 a.m. Police said no one was injured.

"There was glass everywhere, and it looked really scary, like it could really hurt somebody," Sydney Siegel, the niece of a Starbucks customer, said.

Joe Franzen said he was shocked by the scene when he, his mother and son drove up to the coffee shop.

SUV, Raleigh Starbucks SUV plows into Raleigh Starbucks

"We could have been in there at the time if we had gotten there a little bit earlier. We were lucky not to be in there," Franzen said.

The driver, Nguyen Le, told police that her SUV was in park when it suddenly jumped the curb. Officers cited her for failure to reduce speed.

City inspectors evaluated the safety of the building. The store manager said the Starbucks should be reopened by mid-week.

It's the second time in the past month that a vehicle hopped a curb and slammed into a Raleigh restaurant.

On Sept. 4, a car jumped the curb outside the Noodles and Company restaurant in Cameron Village and plowed through an outdoor dining area, injuring three women.

The victims' friends campaigned before a Raleigh city committee for more safety barriers around outdoor cafes. The committee found that the city has plenty of safety measures in place for public areas and that private restaurants have to deal with the liability themselves.

Starbucks customer Scott Hertzog suggested that restaurants take some safety measures.

"It would be nice if you had some concrete planters in front of it, something to slow the car down," Hertzog said.

Franzen said he doesn't think any changes are necessary. He said Sunday's collision was just an unfortunate accident and that he wouldn't complain about the mild consequences for him.

"I kind of want my Starbucks, though. Guess I won't be getting that today," Franzen said.

43 Comments

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  • newsocks2002 Oct 12, 2011

    I'm willing to bet money that the driver in question employs the dreaded two foot driving technique (one foot on the gas, one on the brake.) I'll bet she's also that person you see on occasion riding their brakes while going uphill. Really a stupid way to drive a car.

  • btneast Oct 11, 2011

    Wow, how insulting, do you know the other poster? do you ride with the other poster? Presumption that you know how that person drives indicates that you do.

    Girlwonder, if you had been following this thread, you would see that he and I have been going back and forth throughout.

  • doubletap357 Oct 11, 2011

    Wasn't everyone crucifying that 95 year old driver last week for this exact same type of accident. Basically saying only old people committed such errors because they are all senile.

  • doubletap357 Oct 11, 2011

    I just don't worry about using the left or right foot to drive with....I let my chauffeur worry about that:)

  • girlwonders Oct 11, 2011

    but I know how to drive a stick shift car.

    ....marginally at best. How do you handle sitting at a stop light while on an incline in a straight drive? Let off the brake with that left foot and hope to get the clutch in and get it in gear before you roll back into the car behind you? btneast

    Wow, how insulting, do you know the other poster? do you ride with the other poster? Presumption that you know how that person drives indicates that you do.

  • btneast Oct 10, 2011

    but I know how to drive a stick shift car.

    ....marginally at best. How do you handle sitting at a stop light while on an incline in a straight drive? Let off the brake with that left foot and hope to get the clutch in and get it in gear before you roll back into the car behind you?

  • 3779LRRP Oct 10, 2011

    Pseudonym, thanks for your concern, but I know how to drive a stick shift car. Learned around 1955. I still have two stick shift cars in the driveway now. And no I do not ride the brake with my left foot on the ones with auto trans.

  • MonkeyFace Oct 10, 2011

    ""I kind of want my Starbucks, though. Guess I won't be getting that today," Franzen said." poor thing... no coffee for you... your statement is so self centered...forget about the people that could have been hurt or worse by this... gezz

  • Pseudonym Oct 10, 2011

    Quote from pedwards8: "This may not be the accepted way to drive a car, but I use the left foot for the brake and the right foot for the gas."

    It's not that it's not accepted, it's dangerous. When your left foot sits on the brake pedal, YOUR BRAKE LIGHTS NEVER GO OUT, SO IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE DRIVER BEHIND YOU TO TELL IF YOU ARE STOPPING.

    You would do well to learn how to drive a stick shift. The people in traffic behind you will thank you.

  • dmpaltman2 Oct 10, 2011

    Funny....I was in Florence, SC this weekend and a lady drove her car into the front door of a Starbucks. That must be some good overpriced coffee with milk, whipped to make it special.

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