Car drives through Clinton convenience store, hits clerk

A car crashed into the Shell gas station on East Main Street in Clinton. (Eyewitness photo)

Clinton police said a store clerk was hospitalized after a car drove into a convenience store.

Officials said the crash occurred around 6:30 p.m. at the Shell gas station on East Main Street.

The vehicle went through the convenience store and hit a clerk working inside.

Lisa Dockus, who manages the neighboring store DeNovellis by the Shore, said customers heard the crash.

"They heard glass shattering and that's why I started taking pictures because customers inside were wondering what happened," said Dockus.

Police said they believe the driver accidentally drove into the store.

"He attempted to apply the brakes but inadvertently stepped on the gas pedal," said Sergeant Jeremiah Dunn of Clinton Police.

The driver did not suffer injuries.

The clerk, who was identified by the gas station owners as Neal Patel, was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital.

He is being treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Dockus, who is a friend of Patel's said she hopes his recovery will be quick.

"He's very personable. He gets to know everybody that's in town...he's just not your average store clerk," said Dockus.

Police said that although Patel's injuries are unfortunate, it could have had an even worse outcome.

"We're absolutely fortunate that no one got killed," said Dunn.

The car went deep enough into the store that it touched the back wall.

The driver was cited for reckless driving.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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