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Alleged drunk driver crashes into Waterloo business


Impaired driving charges have been laid after a car crashed into a Waterloo store on Thursday.

Waterloo regional police were called to the business on Union Street, near King Street South, around 7:20 p.m.

One of the vehicles took out the front beam and smashed the front window of Devitt House, a home décor shop.

Owner Jennifer Devitt said she was at home when one of her friends, who also happens to be a first responder, called her from the scene. Then a tenant who lives above the store also called to tell her what happened.

“He said it looked pretty bad,” Devitt said. “We were pretty nervous getting here. And when we arrived there were many, many, many first responders, thankfully. And so it was pretty scary.”

She was told a car was driving down Union Street, coming from King Street, when it drifted into the oncoming lane and hit another car.

“And then continued on and hit our great big beams that are up front,” Devitt explained.

She added had it not been for those beams, the car would have likely driven right into the store.

The aftermath of a crash into the Waterloo store Devitt House on April 4, 2024. (Source: Jennifer Devitt)

Devitt said the driver got out of the car and her tenant asked him to come into the front foyer to sit down and wait for paramedics.

“Our renter indicated that the gentleman who had caused the accident was very inebriated,” she added.

Police said a 21-year-old Waterloo man was arrested and charged with:

  • Operation while impaired by alcohol and drug
  • Operation while impaired (blood alcohol concentration)
  • Dangerous operation
  • Driving a vehicle with cannabis readily available
  • Driving a motor vehicle with no currently validated permit
  • Novice driver with a blood alcohol concentration above zero
  • Novice driver with presence of drug

Police said the Cadillac hit a gold BMW head-on, before going off the road, over the sidewalk, and into a building.

The front window of Devitt House is now boarded over with plywood that has been painted white.

Devitt said the store is able to remain open for now, but they will have to close once the real repair work begins.

“There’s a lot of damage to the exterior – the cladding, the front window, which we had just replaced. Of course there’s siding and all sorts of other things to the porch, the concrete, the railings,” she explained. “Honestly, we’re just really grateful that no one was really seriously hurt. This is a busy corner.”

Devitt said in the 12 years she’s been at this location, there have been several accidents. In one of them, a driver just missed running into the store. Top Stories

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