People doing their weekly wash at Granny Smith Coin Laundry at 191 Jefferson Street in New London were stunned on Saturday when a car suddenly drove through the front door of the laundromat.
New London Fire Department Battalion Chief Edward Sargent said the accident happened at about 2:45 p.m. Neither the driver nor any of the building's occupants were injured.
"It's a good thing nobody got hurt," said Frank Pezzello, one of the owners of the property. "It probably scared the hell out of people."
Pezzello said the driver—whose name has not yet been released by police—told him he had intended to reverse but inadvertently put the car into drive when he hit the accelerator. "The kid was really sorry," Pezzello said.
Although the car's front end showed only moderate damage, the building's front door was shattered and the brickwork at the base of the door was knocked down. Pezzello was waiting for the building inspector to give an official damage assessment but at first glance, he said, the damage didn't appear to be structural.
"I don't know how much it's going to cost. He went through the most expensive part of the window—the sliding door," Pezzello said, adding that the driver told him he has insurance. "I hope it's enough to cover it."
Pezzello said he had arranged for people to board up the broken door and secure the building for now.
"We'll board it up tonight and get it opened up so that people can do their business," Pezzello said.