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Shortly after 1:15 p.m. on Monday, January 11, a Dodge Durango was driven into the Sombrero Mexican Food Restaurant at 189 Palm Ave. and the laundromat next door.

According to Sombrero owner Maria Gomez, a female customer in her 30s had just left the restaurant with an order of burritos. “She pulled out of the parking space when another car pulling in hit the back of her car. My customer pulled back into the parking space, I think to check for damage to her car, when she crashed into my restaurant. She was okay, but a man in the laundromat was sitting in a chair against that wall and he went flying across the room. I had a customer eating in the last booth, and he had cuts to the back of his neck.”

Jessel Treminel, a clerk at the next-door 7 Eleven, was just feet away from the point of impact. “It was like a bomb going off. I went outside and got scared so I called 911.” Another 7 Eleven clerk, “Bambi,” overheard the driver tell sheriff deputies that “the throttle got stuck.”

The man doing his laundry was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Adrian Gomez, the owner’s son, said, “This is the third time someone has driven into the coin laundry, and last week the owner talked to the landlord about installing metal posts out front.”

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