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Driver smashes through Dyker insurance agency

Make a claim: A car careened into this insurance storefront on 13th Avenue in Bensonhurst on Friday.
Photo by Paul Martinka

Luckily, they were covered.

A 13th Avenue insurance company is back up and running after a car smashed through its Bensonhurst storefront on May 27. The building still needs serious repairs, but the destruction will give shopkeepers a chance to improve the store, according to an owner who said the irony of an accident at an insurance office was lost on no one.

“That was a big joke with the firemen — they said, ‘I hope you have good insurance,’ ” said Robert Silvestri, who owns Frank J. Silvestri Insurance near 78th Street. “The offices need a big repair, but we’ll be better and bigger afterward.”

The driver careened into the shop around 11 am on Friday, Fire Department officials said. She was motoring along 78th Street toward 12th Avenue and allegedly blew a red light, collided with a sport utility vehicle traveling on 13th Avenue, and slammed into the building, witnesses said. She may have actually hit the gas instead of the brake, because she seemed to accelerate into the wall after hitting the other car, Silvestri said.

“I was 15 feet away from where car came in,” he said. “She basically came into the storefront at 30–35 miles an hour — it was violent.”

The woman claimed her brakes did not work, according to a photographer on the scene.

A husband, wife, and their 1-year-old son in the sport utility vehicle were not injured. Emergency responders took the driver who caused the crash to Methodist Hospital with minor injuries, a Fire Department spokeswoman said.

Some workers at the insurance company had a close call, but everyone is lucky that no one was seriously hurt, Silvestri said.

“They really don’t want to sit in the front of the office anymore — you can’t blame them,” he said. “But we’re blessed that no one was hurt — it’s a miracle.”

Police have no record of the crash, and fire officials could only confirm a time, date, and location and that the driver went to the hospital.—with Dennis Lynch

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at (718) 260–8303 or e-mail him at mjaeger@cnglocal.com.

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