UPDATE: No charges after car smashes through Bristol storefront


All of Route 114 in downtown Bristol was closed to traffic Monday afternoon after a car jumped the curb and slammed into an empty storefront on Hope Street.

The accident occurred just before 4 p.m. Monday at 495 Hope St., just south of (and a few feet away from) a Coldwell Banker real estate office. It happened a few doors south of the Bristol Post Office, near Dunkin’ Donuts and other small retail shops and restaurants.

A 65-year-old Warren woman was attempting to park her silver Toyota Camry on the street in front of the business when the car jumped the curb and slammed into the storefront, according to Bristol Police Capt. Brian Burke. The woman was evaluated on the scene but was not injured, and there were no other injuries reported in the ordinarily bustling section of town.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, Capt. Burke said. There did not appear to be any mechanical issues with her car, he said. Witnesses at the scene said they believe the driver inadvertently hit the gas instead of the brake. No other vehicles were involved. There were no charges filed nor citations issued to the driver, Capt. Burke said.

Police officers immediately blocked traffic in both directions and cordoned off the area, pushing back scores of bystanders who were shooting video and snapping pictures with their camera phones in the busy downtown block.

The Bristol Building Department responded to inspect the building. Building Inspector Richard Pimenta determined there was no structural damage done to the building, and the businesses on either side were able to reopen soon after the crash.

"We went through the building, and the portion hit by the car is just the storefront; it's not structural in any way," Mr. Pimenta said. "It did some damage, but fortunately nothing serious."


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.