KAILUA-KONA, CA : Jeep crashes into book store on Thursday, January, 11th 2018
No injuries were reported after an elderly man driving a rental vehicle rear-ended a parked, unattended Jeep, pushing it through the wall of Kona Bay Books, Thursday afternoon.
Around 12:30 p.m., Hawaii Fire responded to the parking lot of Island Naturals off Kaiwi Street. When they arrived on scene, they found a Jeep embedded in the side wall of the bookstore, which is behind the market. Another vehicle on scene had heavy front-end damage.
A witness said she was following the elderly couple out of Island Naturals’ one-way driveway to get out to the road when she observed the car lose control and rear-end the Jeep.
The witness said it appeared to be a mechanical problem or loss of control.
Kris Arnett, owner of the bookstore, was helping customers at the counter when she heard loud noises she didn’t recognize.
“We had no idea what they were,” she said. “And then we heard a very loud ‘bang.’”
Arnett ran over and saw the Jeep halfway into the store and books, CDs and shelves strewn about. She called out to see if anyone was under the mounds of wreckage.
“Thankfully nobody was in there; it was just debris,” she said.
Around 20 people were in the store at the time, the owner of six years estimated. One woman was browsing the shelves about 4 feet from where the Jeep cascaded through.
“She said, ‘I wasn’t going to have a cocktail for lunch, but I think I will,’” Arnett said of the customer’s reaction.
A California couple who had rented the Jeep was also inside the bookstore at the time of the incident.
According to police, both vehicles were rental cars. The elderly couple is also from California.
Arnett didn’t have an estimate of the total damage done, but closed the store for the rest of the day. It will be open today, but with the damaged corner sectioned off.
Jeep crashes into book store