Basalt woman hits gas, slams 7-11 |

Basalt woman hits gas, slams 7-11

Erika Gonzalez hit the gas pedal instead of the brake Thursday afternoon and slammed through the windows of the Basalt 7-11. (Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times)

BASALT A shopper made the 7-11 store in Basalt a little more convenient (or inconvenient) Thursday afternoon, opening up her own drive-through window.Erika Gonzalez, 30, said she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and slammed through the windows of the store.Gonzalez, who lives near the store, pulled up in her beige Honda Accord at 1:30 p.m., slowed down briefly, then hit the gas, sending the car through the window, witnesses said.No one was injured.

“I was standing behind the register,” said Chris Cotton, a 7-11 sales associate. “Honestly I had no idea. I was just in complete shock at the time. I saw the car pull up and the next thing I saw was falling glass.”The car broke through two large windows, knocked in some of the bricks and sent debris across two aisles, according to a Basalt police report.Gonzalez then backed the car out of the store window, parked the car and after police cordoned off the spot walked up to the counter and bought something, Cotton said.Cotton was alone at the counter – another employee was in the back room – and immediately called police.

“She seemed a little bit shocked and scared,” Cotton said.Gonzalez was not injured and, after she spoke with police, walked home.”I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Cotton said, adding that if anyone had been standing in the store “they definitely would’ve been hit and probably would’ve have had some large shards of glass coming out of ’em.”The damage was mostly to the medicine aisle, and Cotton said employees had to throw away a lot of inventory.

“She made a mistake. She hit the gas instead of the brake,” said Basalt Officer Jeni Newcomb, who said there was no suspicion of substance abuse. “It was luck, it could’ve been really bad with the glass and everything.”Gonzalez produced a Mexican license and was charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor.Basalt fire officials assisted in the clean-up, boarding up the windows, and the store remained open.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is

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