1 hurt after SUV crashes into Barnes & Noble in Coral Gables

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - Rescue crews took a man to the hospital after an SUV crashed into the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Coral Gables.

Coral Gables Police and Fire responded to the scene along Miracle Mile and Ponce de Leon Boulevard, just before 1 p.m., Wednesday.

Witnesses said the driver of an Acura SUV tried to make a U-turn on Miracle Mile before jumping a concrete barrier and plowing into the bookstore.

Pedro Perez said he was inside the business at the moment of impact. When asked what it sounded like, he replied, “Explosion, explosion.”

Officials said the driver mistook the gas pedal for the brake before striking the building.

Investigators said the motorist, who was uninjured, stayed at the scene.

Paramedics transported a man inside the bookstore to a nearby hospital for precautionary reasons. His condition is unknown.

Perez said the victim had blood all over his face.

“The face, there’s blood. It’s incredible,” he said.

Harry Dye, the husband of a manager at the store, said that when they first heard about the crash, they feared the worst.

“I was very concerned. I got very scared, and brought him straight to the [store],” he said. “His boss … called him and said, ‘Get over here right away. A car ended up inside the store.”

Dozens of people were walking along Miracle Mile near the store at the time of the crash, but no pedestrians were hurt.

When they arrived at the store, Dye and his spouse saw the chaotic scene.

“We just saw the pillar next to the window, and we got here and saw this,” he said.

Cleanup efforts at the store were completed late Wednesday afternoon. The broken window was covered up with plywood.

The store will remain closed for the rest of the day.

Police have not specified whether the driver will be issued a citation or face any charges.

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