Subway has close encounter

Bruce Burns of Erik Fagerland and Associates removes shingles from the south wall of the Subway sandwich shop last Tuesday after a drunk driver crashed into it and a sign for the Long Beach Chiropractic Office. DAMIAN MULINIX photo

This article has been corrected (11/4/03)

LONG BEACH - Maybe she had the munchies?

A driver traveling north on Pacific Hwy in Long Beach early Sunday morning veered off the road and ended up plowing into the south wall of the Subway sandwich shop causing enough damage to close the store for four days.

As reported in the Long Beach Police Report in last week's Chinook Observer, 33-year-old Deena Blaylock was transported to the Pacific County jail after driving her van into the building at around 2 a.m. and then walking away from the scene.

"When she told us, we didn't know what to expect," said Subway manager Marcene Miller on the phone call she received from the police telling her of the accident. "It wasn't as bad as we imagined it would be."

But it was bad enough.

The vehicle broke through the wall of the building, leaving a large hole - the van hit with such force that it actually left an imprint of the license plate on one of the cedar shingles. Upon impact, the van also severed a water line which flooded the inside of the building, Miller said she found nearly three inches of standing water when she inspected her restaurant the next day. Blaylock also broke the sign for the Long Beach Chiropractic Office, located in the parking lot of the Gallery Pharmacy, next door to the Subway.

Due to the inclement weather on Sunday and Monday, crews from Erik Fagerland and Associates - the firm that built the building just three years ago - were unable to work on patching up the hole. The break in the weather on Tuesday gave the crew their first chance to get a good look at the damage and begin repairing it.

Randy Bennett, the foreman on site, said that if the van had struck a little to the left and hit the corner of the building, it may have damaged it structurally.

"The west wall of this building is a sheer wall, it's got plywood on the outside and inside," said Bennett, who added that it could have been worse if the van struck the corner. "Maybe not fallen down, but you know, dropped a foot or two."

They had to replace the studs in the wall and the window sill on the southwest corner of the building.

"Other than that, it's basically just patching the plywood back together and putting the shingles back on it."

With large fans blowing across the floor to dry up the remaining traces of water, the Subway shop re-opened Thursday. Throughout the four days they were closed, many people stopped by as they normally would to get their lunch to find the store closed.

"We've had lot's of good comments from people who are glad we're open again," said Miller.

And in a gesture of thanks to the customers for coming back after the lay-off, and in hopes of making up some of what they lost, Subway will hold two customer appreciation days on Thursday, Oct. 30 and Friday, Oct. 31, where they will offer any 6-inch sandwich value meal for $2.99 plus tax.

"We lost four days of business, and October isn't that profitable anyway," Miller said. "It's a pretty major thing when you miss four days in any month."

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