Market back in business after crash

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comFebruary 23, 2013 

Save-More Market on G Street is open for business again after a Jeep smashed through its front wall Thursday night.

Owner Paul Kahlon arrived at the store about 7 a.m. Friday to clean up the broken glass and remove other debris. The store reopened by 9 a.m.

City inspectors and a contractor also stopped by to assess the damage. Inspectors told Kahlon he could open his business, as long as the open wall was secured.

Kahlon said he's closed off the damaged part of the store from the inside.

The Fire Department reinforced the damaged portion of the building from the outside Thursday night to ensure customers' safety. Customers shopping at the grocery store Friday said they understood it was an accident.

The Jeep emerged from an apartment complex across the street about 6:34 p.m. and traveled at a high rate of speed across multiple lanes of G Street, according to Merced police.

The vehicle then jumped the curb and hit two other cars before crashing into the grocery store's wall.

Kahlon said he stopped by the G Street apartment of the man police said was responsible for the crash. The man, now identified as 38-year-old Larry Peeples, lives across the street from the store. "I wanted to see how he's doing," Kahlon said. "This was just an accident -- it's not like he did it intentionally."

His mother answered the door and told Kahlon her son had been released from the hospital but was sleeping.

The financial impact is still unknown, but Kahlon was instructed to take pictures and make a list of broken products. The building's landlord will work with the insurance company to repair the building's exterior.

Kahlon plans to continue running his business as usual, but a security guard will patrol around the building overnight until repairs can be arranged.

A blood sample was taken from Peeples to determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, but results won't be available for several weeks, said Merced police Sgt. Alan Ward.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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