Car crashing into London Starbucks prompts patio concerns
A car crashed into a Starbucks coffee shop at Richmond Street and Central Avenue Tuesday morning after being struck by another vehicle.
Bharat Rao works at the Subway next door and says he felt the building shake, “I heard a big bang and shattering of glass and I just rushed out to see what is happening out there and I saw a car inside the Starbucks.”
London police say an SUV was eastbound on Central Avenue when it collided with a Volvo headed southbound on Richmond Street around 8:30 a.m.
The crash pushed the Volvo over the sidewalk and into the building housing the Starbucks.
The driver of the SUV received minor injuries and was transported to hospital. No one inside the building was hurt, including staff and customers.
A structural engineer was called in to check the integrity of the building and says it will have to remain closed for a few days.
Crash raises questions about street-side patios
The near miss is prompting concerns about the safety of parking-spot patios in the city’s downtown.
Laura Bays says “They want to put more patios along the road and the kids, my kids, your kids, are going to sit around and eventually there is the possibility to get into an accident.”
City Councillor Denise Brown voted against the patio program over worries about patrons suing the city if they’re injured in a patio crash.
She says she’s even more concerned now, “To put them right there on the road where they're right next to cars, a car going out of control or being t-boned like the one this morning can cause a major accident.”
But others say they’re not concerned about the safety of parking-spot patios and would like to see the program expanded.
Councillor Stephen Orser says “There’s a lot of could-have-beens. People are not going to be banned from sidewalks. They’re not going to be banned from crossing the road. Cars are a fact of life.”