UPDATE: Mineola Bealls department store closed after car plows through it

A Mineola department store is closed tonight after an elderly woman accidentally drove her car through the front of the building.

Witnesses say it happened a little after 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Bealls on Highway 69 in the Northgate Shopping Center.

Mineola police say the woman was parking her car to do a little shopping at Bealls, but instead of hitting the brakes, she accidentally hit the gas pedal -- sending her car barreling through the glass doors and into the makeup counter.

Witnesses who work in the shopping center said, at first, they thought it was just thunder.

"I was inside working and I heard a big boom," Wendy Waggoner, an employee at Rancheros Restaurant, said. "I thought it was thunder because I thought it was about to storm, and everybody starts coming in and saying, 'Someone ran into the Bealls with their vehicle.'"

"Someone heard a crash in here and so we all ran over there and there was a car inside the Bealls," Envy Stylz Hair Salon Manager Melisa Champang said. "One of our employees had just walked in there and the car came in right behind her."

No one was hurt, but there was extensive damage to the store.

Bealls employees weren't allowed to speak on camera, but CBS19 got in touch with their corporate headquarters and spokesperson Jade Waddy said they're very thankful no one was hurt. She says there will be security at the store overnight until they can assess the damage and get repairs made.

CBS19 stopped by the driver's house to see how she was doing tonight, but no one answered the door.

Witnesses say the driver was shaken up. No word yet if any charges will be filed.

The store is closed for now, and it's unclear when it will re-open.



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