The driver of the red car that reversed through the front entrance of Yum Kitchen and Bakery on Wednesday told police she believes she hit the gas instead of the brake while pulling out of a parking spot. Lunch ended abruptly at the popular St. Louis Park dining establishment at the split of Highway 7 and Minnetonka Boulevard, but it opened again at 7 a.m. on Thursday. TAP TO VIEW PHOTOS
According to a police report, just before 1 p.m., Erica Elise Whittlinger, 66, was backing from a parking spot when she heard a horn honk, so she stopped to let the other vehicle pass. As Whittlinger started backing up again, her right front tire hit the curb. She thought she hit the brake in order to straighten her car out, “but now believes she must have hit the gas pedal, causing her car to reverse across the parking lot” and right into the restaurant.
Her car backed into the front glass doors and dining area, stopping against the western wall the restaurant shares with a salon. Whittlinger was wearing her seat belt and was uninjured. Two other people were transported to the hospital for unknown injuries.
“I was in the beauty shop and we heard a thud against the wall, and everyone was running out,” witness Nancy Cane said. “My family had just been in there and they said a lady had backed through the doors and went clear to the next wall.”