November 15, 2013

Minivan crashes into Portland Dunkin’ Donuts

No employees or customers are injured when a man drives into the front of the building.

By Leslie Bridgers
Staff Writer

Joe Dunbar walked around the corner of the Dunkin’ Donuts at Woodfords Corner in Portland on Thursday morning, as he does every morning before he catches the bus to work.

click image to enlarge

A firefighter surveys the damage after a minivan crashed into the Dunkin’ Donuts at Woodfords Corner.

Photo courtesy of WGME-13

click image to enlarge

An early morning accident at the Dunkin’ Donuts at Woodfords Corner in Portland left a gaping hole in the building. The driver was taken to the hospital but no one inside the coffee shop was injured.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

But he never made it to the door.

“Holy cow,” Dunbar said, stunned at the sight of a gaping hole in the front of the building, with siding, insulation and glass spilling out on either side.

A 63-year-old Sebago man apparently suffered a medical emergency and drove his 2003 Ford minivan halfway into the coffee shop around 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

He was taken to Maine Medical Center for observation but had no major injuries, said Portland police Lt. Cliff Strout, who didn’t know the details of the man’s medical condition and wouldn’t release his name. There were no passengers in the van.

Three employees and two customers who were in the shop weren’t injured either, said Mike Trottier, district manager for seven local Dunkin’ Donuts franchises.

But, he said, the workers were “still in shock” a couple of hours later, while they threw out exposed food as instructed by health inspectors.

Trottier said a structural engineer was scheduled to arrive later Thursday to assess the damage. He hoped the store could reopen Friday.

Throughout Thursday morning, coffee drinkers and passers-by looked onto the scene with open jaws.

“How did it ... wow,” said Jessica Conant, who walked by with her husband. They live nearby on Revere Street.

“My first thought was, ‘What am I going to do for coffee?’ ” Dunbar said. “But I’m glad nobody was hurt.”

Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

Twitter: @lesliebridgers

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