ROXBURY, NJ – The 78-year-old woman who crashed her car into a children’s gym in Roxbury on Tuesday did so because she got her pedals mixed up, said police today.
The Ledgewood woman “mistook gas for brake,” said Roxbury Police Department spokeswoman Jen Dillard. She said the driver was charged with careless driving.
A formal accident report has yet to be completed, Dillard said.
Although nobody was injured in the 1 p.m. incident, the woman’s Ford nearly missed The Little Gym of Roxbury co-owner Danielle Mikolay as it plowed through the Ledgewood gym’s glass front doors and came to a stop completely inside the structure.
No children were at The Little Gym on Route 10 when the accident took place, but they were there earlier in the morning, according to Mikolay.
She and her husband, and business co-owner, George, were at the scene today. They and several staffers were continuing to clean the place, a task that included carefully washing all the play balls and mats that will be used by tykes when The Little Gym re-opens.
The Mikolays did not know when that will take place, but they are hopeful it won’t be too far in the future.
“Our summer season is supposed to start in a week,” said George Mikolay.
On the floor at his feet were tire marks from the car and two blackened depressions in the flooring where the vehicle stopped moving. Mikolay said it appeared the front-wheel-drive car’s front wheels kept spinning - even after the car stopped moving – essentially burning the divots in the floor.
After blowing through the glass storefront, sending chunks of safety glass flying everywhere, the out-of-control car slammed into the counter where Danielle Mikolay was standing. It pushed the wooden counter across the room, said the Mikolays.
Shortly after a tow-truck pulled the car out of the gym Tuesday, a cleanup crew arrived. The shattered glass was removed, plywood was erected and the counter – now missing a piece but still functional - was pushed back where it belonged.
“The gym is closed. Had a car accident," advises a handwritten note at the site. "We will update Facebook when opening again. Will give makeup. Sorry for inconvenience.”