UPDATE: SUV slams into Humane Society thrift store, cleanup unde - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: SUV slams into Humane Society thrift store, cleanup underway

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A Jeep rests inside the Humane Society thrift store. CFD photo A Jeep rests inside the Humane Society thrift store. CFD photo
The front of the Humane Society thrift store. CFD photo The front of the Humane Society thrift store. CFD photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

 UPDATE: Humane Educational Society employees and volunteers are left with a massive mess to clean up after a car drove through the building.

"We're just kind of taking it all in at this point," said HES executive director Bob Citrullo as he looked at the debris.

The Deja-Nu Thrift Store and Boutique was set to open Tuesday, after it was closed for a week in preparation for the holidays. Now, the front of the building is surrounded by caution tape and wood panels fill the windows.

"Right here, it's hard to tell because it looks like kindling now, is where all the furniture sat," Citrullo said as we walked around the store.

Inside the store furniture is in pieces, glass covers the ground, and bricks are everywhere you step. There is even damage to the ceiling.

"There's furniture there that was pushed back by the back of her car,” Citrullo explained, “So, literally took out everything out in its path."

A driver backed out of the Baskin Robins across the street, crossed 6 lanes of traffic on highway 58 in reverse, and drove into the store.

"We're just happy, number one, no one was hurt," said Citrullo.

Channel 3 is told the driver has minor injuries. No one was in the store when it happened.

Citrullo said the store brings in roughly $500 a day and there is easily thousands of dollars in damage. All the money made at the thrift store helps cover the costs of things people don't normally donate to the shelter.

"Shelter supplies, utilities, thing of that such,” explained Citrullo, “So, a percentage will go to that and another percentage goes to medical care of the animals."

It's a big hit to HES, but Citrullo said things can be replaced, which Channel 3 saw in just the few hours we were there, as donations kept coming in.

"We appreciate you dropping this off. Every bit helps,” Citrullo said to someone as they donated items, “This is what's so awesome about our community."

They don't know when they will open back up, but they hope to start clean up this week.

The store brings in roughly $100,000 a year, a large percentage of that happens during the holiday season.

 So they are looking into other options so they can continue to sell items. They also encourage everyone to keep bringing in donations- especially furniture.


PREVIOUS STORY: Channel 3 spoke with the driver's son who told us that his mom put her car in reverse, blacked out, went across Highway 58 and backed into the Humane Education Society's Déjà Nu Thrift Store. 

The executive director of The Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga told us that he's thankful no one was inside the building at the time.


PREVIOUS STORY:  First responders were able to get the driver out of the car that crashed into the Humane Society thrift store on Highway 58.

The driver had minor injuries.

A building inspector is headed to the scene of the accident to look at the structural damage done to the store.


PREVIOUS STORY: A car crashed into a building on Highway 58 trapping the driver on Sunday.

Hamilton County dispatchers said first responders are trying to get the driver out of the car.

The extent of their injuries is unclear at this time.

Channel 3 has a crew on the way to the scene.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for more details on this developing story.

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