SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Police are investigating just how a driver hit the wrong gear pulling out of a parking space and ended up hitting two other parked cars and several businesses in a shopping mall Friday morning.
Capt. Jim Ryan said the 58-year-old driver, identified by police as Ravi Narayanaswamy, from North Brunswick, was attempting to pull his 2005 Lexus SUV out of a paking lot of the Summerfield Center Shopping Plaza off Route 522 around 9:50 a.m. when he apparently put the car in drive instead.
The car then struck two other parked vehicles before jumping the curb and riding the length of the plaza on the sidewalk, Capt. Ryan said.
He also struck the entrances to the China Star Restaurant, Wine Gallery and Nails and Spa Salon store before crashing into a pillar in front of a Guiseppie's Pizza Restaurant.
Narayanaswamy was able to exit the vehicle and speak to police.
He was then taken to the Universty Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro for evaluation, and no other injuries were reported by bystanders or plaza patrons.
Capt. Ryan said the reason for the driver's error is still under investigation, and he was issued a ticket for careless driving.
A code enforcement officer from the township inspected the damage and found the buildings to be structurally sound and they remained open, Capt. Ryan said.