BEACHWOOD  — A Jersey Shore icon was hit by a car and its longtime owner was hospitalized early Monday morning.

The building housing the Wunder Wiener on the southbound side of Route 9 in the Pine Beach section of Beachwood was struck by an SUV just before 8 a.m., causing "extensive damage and injuries," according to Beachwood police.

A witness named Pamela who works across the street and did not want her last name used said she arrived at works moments after the crash.

"The building was completely destroyed. The owner was in there. He was taken by helicopter," the witness said. She did not see anyone inside the SUV being treated for injuries or speaking to police.

Police said one person inside the building was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Mayor Ronald Roma told New Jersey 101.5 that the owner of the business, Beachwood councilman Gerry LaCrosse, was inside at the time.

The crash also took out a utility pole, forcing the closure of Route 9.

The Wunder Wiener was in the parking lot of what used to be the Beachwood Shopping Center, which fell into disrepair and was torn down.

"Everybody knows the Wunder Wiener," Roma said, adding that LaCrosse owned the business for 36 years. "He said it was his legacy to his daughter and granddaughter."

Beachwood police asked anyone with information about the incident to call  732-341-1132 x2125.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

Vin Ebenau and Jenn Ursillo contributed to this report.

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