Editor’s Note: Sadly, the female passenger in this vehicle has died from her injuries. See our updated story here.
By Mark Jahne and John Fitts
A car slammed into the Crown & Hammer Pub Jan. 23, punching a hole through the wall.
Police chief Christopher Arciero said an elderly female was extricated by members of the town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department and transported to an area hospital. Her son was driving, police said.
Fire officials said the car went three to four feet into the building.
There was an active natural gas leak and water pouring from the structure, fire officials said, and Connecticut Water, Connecticut Natural Gas and Eversource also responded to the scene.
Upon arrival, fire crews shut off the natural gas and water lines, as Canton’s paramedics and EMTs medically evaluated the driver and passenger, fire officials said. Fire crews used a hydraulic tool to quickly remove the roof of the car while a paramedic worked to stabilize the patient, fire officials said. As a precautionary measure, fire crews also charged a hose line to the building, officials added.
The accident, which occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m., is under investigation. Police are looking into exactly what happened.
“We’re still trying to piece that together,” Arciero said.
When the crash happened, restaurant owner Lisa Maurer had just left the area that was struck. She had been taking inventory in a cooler located in that part of the building.
“I went upstairs into my office and sat down. It felt like the whole building was exploding,” she said.
She ran downstairs to find broken pipes, water flowing everywhere and a hole in the wall near the corner of the building that is closest to Bridge Street. Maurer was the only staff member in the restaurant at the time.
“I was worried about the gas, so I got out of there,” she said.
Maurer said the kitchen at the Crown is heavily damaged and the restaurant will be closed indefinitely. While she said the goal is to re-open as soon as possible, she said her main thoughts go out to those who were in the car.
“Our hearts and prayers are certainly with those people,” she said.
Anyone who might have witnessed the accident is urged to call police at 860-693-0221.
Fire officials said responding apparatus included: Rescue 9, Engine 4, Squad 5 and both ambulances. Burlington Volunteer Fire Department’s Rescue truck was dispatched for mutual aid on ventilation of the building and extrication of the passenger, according to the department release.