It happened the morning of April 26, and by the time it was all over three parked cars in front of Riggio’s Garden Center in Essex had been smashed into, with one of them seriously damaged. Also, the front door of Riggio’s had been crushed off its hinges, and the store’s main entrance had to be taped shut with yellow tape.
According to an eyewitness, who was in the store at the time, the scenario of the incident went like this. First, a car, which was parked in front of Riggio’s main entrance, backed up forcefully, and hit another car parked behind it, “very hard.”
Next, the out of control vehicle pulled sharply forward, and smashed into a second parked car, a Saab, which was parked in front of it. The Saab in turn was pushed into the front doors of the garden center, forcing the doors off their hinges.
Then, finally, the out of control vehicle pulled forward and hit a third car, pushing this car over the store’s new statuary display in front of the garden center.
Soon after the incident Police and Fire officials arrived, and in the words of the eyewitness, who declined to give her name, “It was just like the movies,” with lights flashing and emergency vehicles on hand.
Reportedly, the driver of the runaway vehicle was a 74 year old woman, who was escorted away from the scene by authorities. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident, according to the eyewitness.
Riggio employees were particularly concerned that the vehicle smashing incident occurred just before its open house this Saturday, April 28, when the store in gratitude entertains its customers with a picnic.
Although the official police report of the Essex Police of the incident was requested, it was not made available.