PAOLA — It was supposed to be a simple hair appointment on a rainy afternoon in Paola.

But when the 82-year-old woman from La Cygne pulled her new 2018 Chevrolet Cruze into the parking stall next to Mane 1 Salon & Spa shortly after 1 p.m. on Friday, July 5, her foot slipped off the brake and inadvertently pressed down on the accelerator.

Before she could correct her mistake, the vehicle had jumped the curb and crashed through the front window of 907 N. Pearl St., sending bricks and glass flying.

Kristen Douglass was working at Mane 1 at the time of the incident, and she said she and fellow stylist Dawn Land immediately looked up when they heard the sound of tires screeching outside.

“We thought someone was peeling out in the parking lot,” Douglass said.

But then they heard a loud crash and felt the building shake, which prompted both of them to rush outside.

They helped the woman out of the vehicle and were happy to discover she was not injured.

There also were no injuries reported inside the building, which serves as office space for the Miami County Cancer Foundation, Legacy Contractors and other organizations.

Douglass said the woman was coming for a hair appointment at Mane 1 but instead found herself calling family members for assistance and answering questions when a Paola police officer arrived on the scene.

A full report was not yet available Friday afternoon, but the police department did confirm the accident was reported at 1:10 p.m. and it involved an 82-year-old woman from La Cygne driving a 2018 Chevrolet Cruz.

Douglass said the vehicle was new and the driver was not yet familiar with it.

It’s the second time in the past seven months that a driver accidentally drove into a storefront in Paola.

In December of last year, an 87-year-old man drove a Ford Taurus into the former Paola Family Dentistry office on the south side of Paola’s Park Square. The driver in that incident also reported that his foot slipped from the brake pedal to the gas while parking.

There were no injuries in that incident either.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

(1) comment


Was it driver error or the way we taught them to brake? Blame the driver if old or women. Never blame those in charge of driver legislation who forced driver to brake an automatic car using the “Killer” right foot braking method. No scientific justification other than that’s the way it’s always been taught. Right foot braking dangerous compared to simpler, safer Left Foot Braking Method. See DOT HS 811 597, 812 058 and 812 431 Score to date, 150,000 (19 every day) dead, millions injured.

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