Crash makes Rob’s a drive-thru

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Courtesy photo by Norman Tucker This Mazda CX-5 plowed through Rob’s Seafood and Burgers in Post Falls on Wednesday afternoon. According to police, the driver hit the gas pedal while parking instead of the brakes. There were no injuries.

POST FALLS — Kerry Simon jokes that, for just a few hours, the iconic Rob's Seafood and Burgers had a drive-thru.

The business at the busy intersection of Seltice Way and Spokane Street was plowed into by a 2016 Mazda CX5 late Wednesday afternoon.

"Thankfully, nobody was hurt," said Simon, who now owns the business that his father Rob operated for many years. "My employees were on the other side of the building and we didn't have any customers at that time. If it was any other day, we may have had a bunch of people in here."

According to Post Falls Police, the driver, Cathy Hudson, 64, of Coeur d'Alene, was talking to a passenger at 4:50 p.m. and about to park on the Seltice side of the business when her foot slipped off the brake.

"When she went to re-apply it again she mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead and the vehicle lunged forward into the building," said Detective Mark Goodwin.

Neither alcohol nor a medical condition were factors, Goodwin said.

Hudson was not cited. Simon said the cost for the damage, estimated at $20,000, is being handled by insurance companies.

"She was pulling into one of the parking spots," Simon said. "She was talking to her grandson and thought she was pushing the brake but it was the gas."

Hudson told police she was distracted by the conversation.

"When the vehicle did not stop, Cathy said she pressed harder down on the pedal, which was still the gas pedal," a police report states.

The vehicle went through the north side of the business where there is a hallway and counter to purchase cigarettes or pick up food orders.

Simon said he was in the parking lot when the crash occurred.

"You could hear her engine accelerating, a loud thud and sound of glass breaking," he said.

Simon said the business with tight parking quarters has been struck at least three other times over the years.

The business was closed for its last four hours Wednesday night, but re-opened as usual at 9 a.m. Thursday after the damage was temporarily boarded up.

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