Sure enough, a van had driven head first into a Dunkin Donuts near Portland Maine. That incident is depicted in the photo on the left, above. Less than a month ago, a very similar incident occurred at a different Dunkin Donuts location in Hatfield Township Pennsylvania, which was hit for the second time in a month. The photo of that more recent incident in Hatfield is the one on the right, above.
Pay attention to the similar store layout....mostly glass frontage, nose-in parking, nothing but a sidewalk between oncoming cars and people standing, sitting, or working inside those stores. And these look like modern stores too -- why on earth does Dunkin Donuts continue to crank out locations that are so obviously unsafe? All the injuries ( there were six more injured in the accident today in Maine) and all of the lawsuits (settled and pending) apparently have not been enough to get any corporate notice at Dunkin Brands, which owns both Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins. All of the warnings, incidents, and negative attention is still apparently too little to get enough corporate attention to correct a very correctable problem.
So let me make this very clear: Dunkin Donuts franchisees and Dunkin Brands -- you are on notice that storefront crashes are foreseeable, predictable, and preventable. You are on notice that when you fail to place effective barriers in front of stores or require safety barrier installation as part of the franchise agreements you make, you are perpetuating at your locations a known hazardous condition that you have purposefully failed to address. You have lives of customers, pedestrians, and employees at risk every day, despite much evidence that you need to take immediate, effective and affordable action. Dunkin Brands, you are on notice.
Now back Shawn Cummings. The reason he emailed me "another one in Maine" is that on March 1st this year, Shawn's 66 year-old mother Sharla Cummings was working at her job at a RiteAid in Maine when a car driven my an 84-year old driver accelerated through a nose-in ADA parking space, over the sidewalk and through the wall of the store, crushing Sharla against the cash desk where she was working. Severely injured, Sharla has been unable to work and is still recovering from her injuries. The photo from that accident is below. Look familiar?
Nose-in parking spaces, cars approaching straight at the store, nothing but a sidewalk to protect employees from oncoming cars.
As many as sixty times per day, a vehicle crashes into a store, restaurant, office, or other commercial building. This is a fact that Shawn and his mother know very well. This is also a fact that Dunkin Brands and Dunkin Donuts franchisees know very well. Thanks to people like Shawn, companies like Dunkin Brands and their franchisees cannot pretend that they did not notice -- because now, they are ON notice.