Vehicle nearly hits shop manager

MONROE – Andrea Kaschmitter was just opening her business up for the day when the front of the business was ripped open.

Kaschmitter picked her way through shattered glass and scattered boxes and surveyed the damage at the General Nutrition Center, located in a strip mall off U.S. 2.

Minutes earlier a Geo Tracker had been parked inside the store.

A Monroe woman reportedly was parking when her vehicle jumped the sidewalk, crashed through the storefront and skidded to a stop about 20 feet inside.

The driver, believed to be in her 40s, was not seriously injured, police said.

Kaschmitter, 27, narrowly missed being hit by the vehicle. She was not hurt.

“I had a panel of glass knock me to the ground and I tried to crawl out of the way,” said Kaschmitter, the store’s manager.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday what caused the vehicle to plow into the store.

She had just been to the gym and was meeting her husband for coffee at Starbuck’s, police were told.

Investigators don’t believe there was mechanical failure, Monroe police Cmdr. Cherie Harris said.

“It was either a mistake or a medical emergency,” Harris added.

Kaschmitter saw the woman pull into the parking space, but then saw the SUV roll over the curb.

“It just kept coming. I heard the brakes squealing. She was screaming,” Kaschmitter said. “I think she did everything she could to stop the car.”

The impact sent a jolt through the neighboring Starbuck’s.

Dick King and a friend were having coffee when the building and windows rattled.

“I thought the place exploded,” King said, watching as a the vehicle was backed out of the gaping storefront.

Kaschmitter said she knows the driver, saying the woman and her husband are frequent customers.

“We’ll be fine. I’m just worried about her,” she said.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or

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