Driver charged after car crashes through South Congaree Subway
South Congaree, SC (Paul Kirby) A sedan crashed through the front of the Subway restaurant in South Congaree late yesterday afternoon causing extensive damages, but no injuries.
According to an eyewitness who narrowly escaped being hit by the car as it jumped the curb, the car came into the driveway to the Food Lion shopping center from Pine Street. Then, it suddenly veered toward the sandwich shop’s glass storefront, almost hitting her in the process.
The lady, who was visibly shaken and upset, said she had just gotten out of the passenger side of her car, and was about to enter the building when the car came across the sidewalk toward her. “The girl didn’t seem as if she touched her brakes,” the witness said. “It was almost as if she was completely out of control, and may have even sped up as she went into the Subway!” The woman said that the driver appeared distracted behind the wheel.
The only visible marks on the pavement and concrete sidewalk that would indicate the car’s driver applied the brakes, were right at the glass wall of the storefront. There, the car’s tires made a small black skid mark approximately 12” to 18” long that appeared as if the driver applied the brakes after the front of the car had already crashed through the glass.
South Congaree Police Chief Josh Shumpert said that the no one was injured in the accident. He said that the driver of the car was being checked out by EMS crews, but later confirmed that they had not transported the driver.
Luckily, the store's staff was working in a rear prep area when the car came crashing in. There were no customers in the store seated in the area where the car plowed into the tables and chairs, scattering them into disarray.
Firefighters from the county were on the scene assessing the damage to the building. Chief Shumpert said that they had indicated to him that there was no damage to the structural integrity of the building itself.
Shumpert said that his department has charged the driver of the car with reckless driving and violation of a beginner’s permit. This charge stems from the fact that the driver never obtained a full SC driver’s license and was operating the vehicle with a permit meant for drivers just learning. With these beginner’s licenses, the permit holder is required to have a fully licensed and experienced driver in the car while it's being driven by the inexperienced driver.