KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A non-profit is dealing with some serious damage that came right through their front door.
Just imagine: you're skimming the aisles and looking for clothes, when a van comes crashing through!
That's what happened at the KARM (Knox Area Rescue Ministries) Thrift Store on Western Avenue in Knoxville.
Seven people were inside, it was rush hour and Jennifer Kitts was standing at the cash register.
She watched a van pull in a parking spot, and then it just kept on going.
"Scared to death. I didn't think she was going to stop, and I was just praying that there were no customers around," said Kitts, the assistant manager.
"It's a bit of a shock when you pull up and you see what you think is going to be a whole building, suddenly in pieces," said Linda Whitehead, director of operations of KARM Thrift Stores.
Fortunately, nobody was in the van's path and everyone escaped without a scratch.
"One of our employees said they had been just hanging clothes in that area, and had left to get more items to bring out. So yes, we feel blessed that there were no customers near the doorway, no employees," said Whitehead.
Kitts thinks a blockade of shopping carts and chairs were probably the only things standing in the way of even more damage.
But now, instead of selling to customers, the workers will be picking up glass and worrying about how much it will cost to fix the entrance.
Plus, the store closing, even if it's a few hours, means less revenue to help KARM's mission.
"So any time we can't open a store, our thought is, how many meals are we not going to be able to provide because we've lost that," said Whitehead.
Whitehead says the store will be closed until at least noon on Friday. But they hope to secure an entrance by the afternoon.
Knoxville Police say the driver of the mini-van, Rebecca Gosnell, was suffering from a medical problem which caused her to hit the gas. She went to Parkwest Hospital to be treated.