EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 21, 2013

'A big bang'

HAVERHILL — A driver hit the gas instead of the brake on her BMW sport utility vehicle yesterday morning, careening head-on into the front doors of two businesses at the Academy Plaza off Route 125.

The driver, whose name was not released by police, was visibly shaken following the incident. Two children were in the car when the accident happened. The fire department rescue squad responded to check on the well-being of the children, whose ages and names were not available. They were not injured.

Assistant Building Inspector Les Godin said that while the accident caused damage to the glass doorways and the molding around the doors, there was no structural damage.

Both businesses were closed temporarily for repairs, however.

Cindy Nguyen, owner of Pro Nails, arrived to open her shop just before 9 a.m. when she saw the damage to the front door. Her husband, Thong Vo, went into the store to clean up the broken glass strewn around the inside of the salon.

Jamie Ferguson, a waitress at the Breakfast Cafe, the other business affected by the accident, said she was putting dishes away near the back of the restaurant when she saw the SUV pull up and then heard “a big bang.”

“It sounded like two, big Dumpsters getting dropped to the ground,” she said. “It was loud.”

She said there had been a woman and two young children sitting at a table near the front of the cafe when the car hit.

They happened to be in the restroom at the time of the accident, she said.

Also fortunate was the fact that nobody was walking in or out of the store when the accident happened.

Police said no charges would be filed.

“She hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal,” said Haverhill Police Lt. William Leeman.

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