SUV crashes through store, narrowly misses woman

POSTED: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 7:30pm

UPDATED: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 7:34pm

Jonaya Petersen is talking about a frightening scene at the 711 on Cooke Street in Waterbury, Connecticut on Monday, April 2.

She was standing at the counter when a SUV slammed into the store and almost ran her over.

“I just heard a loud boom, and it just happened so fast that I had no time to react to that," said Petersen. “(It was) very shocking. I didn't know what to do, I was just standing there. It was so unreal."

Petersen didn't know how close of a call it actually was, until she saw the surveillance video.

It turns out she was planning to check out at the register where the car eventually crashed and changed her mind at the last second.

"I think I’m very lucky. My angels were looking over me, because after seeing that video… it's hard to watch."

She says she was buying a lotto ticket when suspected drunk driver Kenneth Dowdel plowed through this place and struck her in the back.

"I just know I felt that sharp pain, and I got pushed against the register."

However, the threat wasn't over; she jumped on the counter to get out of harm’s way when Dowdell put the SUV in reverse and backed out of the store.

"I'm pretty mad because never in a million years would I imagine that would happen to me."

Waterbury Police tracked down Dowdell a short time later. They say he admitted to being drunk, and he took off because he was scared.” 

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