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Car crashes into Highland Park’s Binny’s Beverage Depot

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Updated: September 10, 2013 6:20AM

An hour after a white BMW crashed through a display window of a Binny’s Beverage Depot in Highland Park, the vehicle remained lodged in the store, covered in debris from striking high stacks of Smirnoff vodka and Tanqueray gin bottles.

At the scene, Highland Park Fire Chief Patrick Tanner said a Binny’s employee pulled an elderly woman from a smoking car at about 10:05 a.m. The employee and the driver were taken to NorthShore Highland Park Hospital for treatment related to smoke inhalation.

Tanner said no one else was injured inside the store, 153 Skokie Valley Road.

“It’s a great testimony to the sprinkler system here because there were 100 boxes of alcohol she hit,” Tanner said. “That could really get going (on fire).”

Binny’s store manager David O’Sullivan reported that the store will remain closed for at least the rest of the day.

“We all heard the impact and the fire started immediately,” O’Sullivan said. “It was extremely intense and there was a lot of smoke.”

Adjoining businesses were not damaged.

Nelo Bisa, a hair dresser at Via Venato next door, was on break and witnessed the crash.

“We saw smoke and fire and the worker dragged her out, an older woman,” said Bisa, a Deer Park resident. “She was squished against the dashboard. I didn’t know if she was conscious or not.”

O’Sullivan said the driver was able to walk after she was pulled from the car. She didn’t have any visible injuries, he added.

All Highland Park fire crews were sent to the Binny’s, which is located in the Crossroads Shopping Center on the east side of Skokie Valley Road. Police blocked off all northbound traffic between Lake-Cook and Clavey roads.

Officials were unable to explain what caused the crash.

Calls to the Binny’s store went unanswered.

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