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Jeep careens into paint store

November 11, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

Jeep careens into paint store



No one was injured Saturday afternoon when a Hagerstown woman blacked out behind the wheel of her Jeep Grand Cherokee, crossed four lanes of a street and a parking lot before smashing into a paint store.

"Everybody was lucky," said Lloyd McAllister, who was northbound on North Burhans Boulevard just before 2 p.m. when the Jeep came down George Street and just missed his Oldsmobile on Burhans Boulevard.

"She passed right in front of us," said McAllister, 62, of Falling Waters, W.Va.

There was no oncoming traffic in the southbound lane, he said.

The Jeep hit the curb and jumped over the sidewalk and shrubs into empty parking spaces before crashing into the window front of Randy's Paint & Decorating at 140 N. Burhans Blvd., McAllister said.

Hagerstown City Police Officer Tammy Miller said driver Lee Brining, 57, of 634 W. Franklin St., had a seizure and blacked out.

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Brining had been on medication and thought the seizures were under control, Miller said.

The accident was still under investigation, Miller said.

Store owner Randy Wolfensberger said he was in the back of the paint shop when he heard the sound of breaking glass.

"I just thank God nobody was standing there," Wolfensberger said.

There were two customers just a few yards away looking at paint samples, but they were not hurt, Wolfensberger said.

Wolfensberger estimated the damage at $4,000 to $5,000.

The taupe Jeep pushed the metal framing out, broke four windows and plowed into shelving, scattering sample books.

Douglas Cheung was working behind the counter of his father's dry cleaning store next door to the paint shop when he looked up and saw the Jeep heading toward the shopping center.

Cheung's grandmother had been sitting in front of a sewing machine on the other side of the wall from where the Jeep crashed into the paint store.

"I couldn't even move," said Cheung, 15. "I looked over at grandma. She was all right."

Sun Cheung, owner of Burhans Express Cleaners, said his mother didn't see the Jeep coming, but stood up after the crash, shocked. Then she went back to sewing.

Cheung said the Jeep just missed his burgundy Chevrolet van parked in the lot out front.

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