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Errant driver turns parking meter into missile

  • After hitting the facade of Omelette Express with her car, the owner records the scene with a camera, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2009 in Santa Rosa. (Mark Aronoff / Press Democrat) 2009

A woman parking a car around noon Tuesday on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa sent the head of parking meter flying through a cafe window, scattering glass and grazing two customers as they finished brunch.

Two Santa Rosa Junior College students were seated at a window table at Omelette Express when the meter crashed through the window. They ducked and were only grazed by the flying object, they said.

"My boss calls me &‘chaos boy' because I have bad juju," said John Furr, a Junior College student who said that odd incidents seem to happen more often to him than other people.

Crash Into Omlette Express

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Furr, 19, and Melanie McKinney, 22, said they had a few scratches and were covered in glass but were otherwise unharmed.

The driver, Anita Jorge, 67, of Santa Rosa, told police she was a little sore but otherwise fine.

Scott Serena, a field evidence technician with the Santa Rosa Police Department, said the accident was likely caused by the driver accidentally hitting the gas pedal instead of the brake, which pushed the car into the parking meter with force. Serena said he's never heard of a meter head getting knocked off its post.

"It is heavy so if you drive into it it doesn't seem impossible that it would pop off, physics-wise," Serena said.

Jorge, the driver of the silver Toyota Camry, was not available for comment.

Serena said the Jorge wouldn't be cited by police and that it was an insurance matter.

Don Taylor, owner of Omelette Express, greeted customers Tuesday afternoon and guided them to tables not covered by glass.


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