Crash Happened Sunday Morning At Yogurt Universe In Escondido
7:19 AM, May 9, 2011
A 17-year-old boy with his learner's permit may have to wait a bit longer to get his driver's license after driving a sport utility vehicle into an Escondido yogurt shop.The incident happened Sunday morning at the Yogurt Universe shop on 1485 East Valley Parkway, according to authorities.Employee Diane Schmitz was preparing to open the store about 11:30 a.m. when a silver car begins to pull into a parking space in front of the shop.Seconds later, the car jumps the curb and crashes into the shops entrance.Schmitz, startled by the impact, jumped back before slowly approaching the car."It didn't seem real. It totally didn't seem real," said Schmitz, who was not injured in the incident.Following the crash, surveillance video showed people starting to gather outside. A customer from another store comes in to help by moving aside the broken front door.Authorities said the teen apparently got confused and stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brakes.The boy's mother, father and two siblings were inside the vehicle at the time of the crash.Schmitz said she remembers the driver looking distraught."I mean, he was completely in a daze, as I was. He couldn't believe what he had just done," said Schmitz."If someone would've been sitting there, they would've been gone. It would've been a pretty bad accident," said store owner Gina Wertz.In the video, the boy's mother appeared embarrassed and devastated. The video also showed the teen's father walking over to his son to comfort him."Which I thought was an amazing thing to do at that point in time. They seem like amazing people," said Wertz.Wertz told 10News the family repeatedly apologized for the crash and accepted responsibility. She said there is a good chance the store will be open Tuesday.Damage to the shop is estimated to be at least $20,000."All this can be replaced. Life cannot be replaced," said Wertz.No other injuries were reported as a result of the crash.