Driver converts Hazelwood pizza store into a ‘drive-in’

This accident made a real mess of the Pizza Hut store on SE 122nd Avenue. Fortunately, no one was injured – but just why it happened remains unclear …

Officials say no one was injured, when this car drove into the Hazelwood Pizza Hut store on SE 122nd Avenue.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Fender-bender traffic accidents are relatively commonplace in a large city like Portland. But when we hear a verified report of a vehicle driving into a building – we feel compelled to go take a look.

Exactly why it occurred still remains hazy, but it was clear that a Toyota Corolla did drive off SE 122nd Avenue and into a Pizza Hut store, a block south of SE Market Street, on the evening of December 13.

When we arrived on-scene, crews from all four Portland television stations’ were also rolling up to shoot footage for their 11 pm news shows.

The Toyota’s driver, a woman who declined to identify herself, told a police officer at the scene – and all of the news crews – that her vehicle was hit by another car. She said she was driving southbound on SE 122nd Avenue a little after 8 pm, when a northbound car cut westbound in front of her, and T-boned her car’s driver side, causing her to swerve into the Pizza Hut.

Officials say this car was also involved in the incident, but didn’t comment beyond that.

Indeed, another car was pulled into the parking lot next door to the pizza shop with front-end damage. Occupants of that car indicated they didn’t speak English, and declined to speak with us.

No customers or workers were in the restaurant’s impacted dining room at the time of the incident, and there were no reported injuries.

We checked with police spokesperson Det. Mary Wheat to learn more. “The call came in at 8:22 pm at 1747 SE 122nd Avenue. A Toyota Corolla did hit the building. The other vehicle was on- scene. No citations were issued, and records show the drivers exchanged information. No crime was reported, regarding this incident.”

The crew had a lot of cleaning up to do – sweeping up lots of glass and the broken picture window frame.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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