Van smashes into auto parts store

Becky Vargo • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:07 PM

Employees of a Grand Haven auto parts store had a wide-open view of the street after a customer plowed her minivan into the building Monday morning.

The incident occurred at about 9:45 a.m.

“A woman pulled up in a Honda Odyssey, and instead of hitting the brakes she hit the gas,” said Jim McEachen, an employee at the Auto Value store at 615 S. Beechtree St., next to the Clover Bar.

The van went about a third of the way into the building.

“She was OK,” McEachen said. “Just shaken up.”

Nobody in the store was injured, police said.

The van’s driver, a 73-year-old Grand Haven woman, told police she had stopped at the store because her van was experiencing battery problems.

McEachen said the van didn’t seem badly damaged, but the sound it made when it hit the wall was like an explosion. A large window was pushed in and shattered.

“For half an hour, we could hear glass breaking and coming down,” McEachen said.

The window would be boarded up, McEachen said. In the meantime, the store remained open. Customers coming in jokingly asked if they were doing some remodeling.

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