NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — A Northwest Miami-Dade smoke shop that also happens to sell reptiles received a surprise visit from a car, Wednesday.
A woman crashed right through the window of the store, located at 18400 N.W. 75th Place.
The crash caused damage to the store, and let some of the snakes and reptiles loose. "These two windows are broken, glass everywhere. We do have reptiles here too," said shop owner Subhan Malik, "and some of them are missing."
The animal cages were broken when the car plowed inside the Smoke ‘N Toke, but luckily, none of the animals that escaped were venomous.
A daycare two feet away from the shop has made some mothers uneasy. "I am so scared ’cause my child is next to it, and I’m so scared about that," said Tania Viccarrondo. "Oh, my God, I’m so scared about that, scared of snakes."
One daycare employee recalled hearing the crash. "I was in the classroom with the the babies and suddenly I heard ‘Boom!’" she said.
A surveillance video inside the store caught the crash. The woman who crashed into the store had a baby in the backseat and a witness ran over and got the child out of the car. "Thank God nobody was hurt," Malik said. "She did have a baby in her car, strapped up, wearing her seat belt."
Another neighbor showed up to the scene and tried to save one of the geckos in a tank on the floor.
The owner of the store said his biggest worry are his reptiles. There was glass on the floor, and the aquariums the snakes and lizards were kept in are now broken. Malik said, "She was like, ‘I can’t find the snake. I can’t find it.’ I was just like, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’m sure when they are hungry they will come out, and we will get them then.’"
Cleanup crews swept up all the glass, but there is still no sign of the reptiles. "This time, I guess I’ll get impact glass. So nobody can do this again," Malik said, "keep our reptiles safe."
The owner told 7News that luckily he has insurance. The reptiles were worth about $2,000. The woman and her daughter who were in the car are OK.