Victor Hatami had been woken up to a call at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning with news that he found unbelievable: a car was in his Jericho Turnpike showroom.
While it would have been fine if Hatami was the owner of a car dealership, he is the proprietor of , which recently completed a tremendous two-story renovation and which now had a silver sedan using it as a parking lot.
“My dream,” he said of the refurbishments Tuesday afternoon as he poured over the photos in his back office taken that morning of the accident where a driver had plowed through the full-length glass windows of the first floor on Wellington Road.
Dreams that now were in bits and pieces of shattered glass scattered amongst the wreckage and circuitry of smashed pinball machines.
“It was like 9/11,” Hatami said after he had viewed the security camera footage showing the impact. “The whole room exploded.”
According to Hatami, the driver was a man about 58 years old who fell asleep at the wheel of the car and veered off Jericho Turnpike, smashing into the eastern section of the building. He also said that there had been blood visible around the wreck, signs that the driver had first tried to free himself by crawling through the windshield then attempting to open the car door.
Photos he took at the scene also showed that the car snapped off the nearby fire hydrant, flooding the pavement.
Inspectors from the Village of Mineola also came to assess the damage and make sure that the showroom’s structural integrity was intact.
“They wanted me to evacuate,” Hatami said, noting that the steel pillars were not compromised and that the space is reportedly sound. “It was just glass that broke.”
The showroom is encased in a specialized double-paned glass. Hatami stated that the cost for the glass for the entirety of the showroom cost $160,000.
Insurance agents also visited the accident scene but Hatami said that there were no estimates yet provided as to the damage.