Danny DiBacco II stood in the business he co-owns Monday and surveyed the damage.
Shards of glass glistened from a pile of debris; a jungle-gym of kitchen equipment was impassable; and several large wooden boards were nailed in place of the glass double-door and windows that were destroyed Sunday when a 79-year-old woman drove through the Great Harvest Bread Co.
“We’re so thankful no one was here when it happened,” DiBacco said. “... On a normal day, I would have been right at the table that was pushed back by the car.”
The bakery at 7684 Market St. will be closed at least a week, he said. Cleanup will begin after insurance representatives inspect the damage.
Tire tracks trail the length of the bakery, ending near a refrigerator that popped open and caused the product inside to spoil, DiBacco added.
But the building’s structure appears to be sound, he said.
“We’re hoping it doesn’t impact our Thanksgiving orders,” he said. “If my oven is OK, I can operate.”
DiBacco co-owns the business with Andrew Cuttica, who opened it in 2006. Great Harvest is a nationwide franchise, but local owners are “on their own, so it’s more like a mom-and-pop shop,” DiBacco said.
Boardman police said Mary R. Scott, 79, of New Middletown, lost control while pulling into a parking space and went over the curb, hitting the building and continuing to drive inside the bakery.
Police Chief Jack Nichols said the investigation is ongoing and it hasn’t been determined if Scott will be cited and/or given a request for driver’s license recertification.
If she is given a request for recertification, that would require her to retake the written and road drivers’ test.
“This happens all the time. People think they have the car in park and then hit accelerate or hit the wrong pedal,” Nichols said.
The chief said when it comes to elderly drivers, family members should have a discussion together about a loved one’s ability to drive.
“It’s a touchy subject,” he said.