Luck at Play in Crash at Goldberg's

E.M.T.s having breakfast were already on the scene when an elderly man drove into the side of the East Hampton bagel shop. Paul Wayne

Goldberg's Famous Bagels in East Hampton was the scene of a one-car crash Thursday morning that ended up sending the elderly driver and his passenger to the hospital.

Paul Wayne, a partner at the store on Pantigo Road, was behind the counter when the accident occurred at about 10 a.m. The store was particularly crowded, with people picking up special orders for the Passover and Easter holidays, he said.

"I was slicing nova," Mr. Wayne said Thursday. "There was a big boom. I looked out the window. An elderly couple in a Suburban had hit the building." The vehicle hopped the sidewalk and hit the brick exterior of the building in front of a handicapped parking space. The airbags deployed on impact.

Mr. Wayne said it appeared that the driver hit the gas pedal instead of the brake while parking. The point of impact was less than a yard from a glass window, behind which Mr. Wayne and his staff were preparing food.

Amongst the many customers who stream through the deli each day are a number of police and firemen. At the time of the accident, four emergency medical technicians happened to be inside. "They were sitting in the back eating sandwiches. Two hobos and two pastrami," Mr. Wayne said. He prides himself in knowing what his regulars order. "The E.M.T.s rushed right out," Mr. Wayne said.

"The couple seemed okay, but the man was bleeding. Both were taken to the hospital," Mr. Wayne said. Police have not yet released their names.

Also in the area was Tom Baker, an East Hampton fire marshal. He checked the building and the electrical system, and determined there was no structural damage.

Two months ago, a similar accident occurred at the Southampton Goldberg's Bagels on County Road 39. In that occasion, a car went through a plate glass window. There were no injuries after that incident, but the damaged facade is still boarded up.

"But, we're still open," Mark Goldberg, a partner at both stores, said Thursday. He had arrived at the East Hampton store shortly after the crash.

"We've been lucky," Mr. Wayne said about both incidents. "Lucky is nice."

A tow truck driver worked on removing the S.U.V. that smashed into the Goldberg's building in East Hampton on Thursday. Morgan McGivern