An SUV slammed into the front of a 7-Eleven convenience store in downtown Manasquan Friday evening, sending the driver and a store clerk to the hospital.

Neither the driver nor the store clerk suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash, which happened minutes after 6 p.m., according to a report by The Asbury Park Press.

SUV crashes into Manasquan 7-11 (Andrew Mills Digital Media LLC via Facebook/Monmouth County Police, Fire & EMS)

The sport utility vehicle came to a rest several feet inside the store with its two front wheels where a cashier usually stands, said Manasquan Fire Chief Mike Galos.  Firefighters had to help the driver out of the vehicle.The driver was “semi-conscious” when firefighters arrived, and the store clerk was taken to the hospital “as a precaution,” Galos said.


Witnesses said the driver of the SUV came out of the 7-Eleven after buying a pack of cigarettes, got into his vehicle and drove forward instead of in reverse. The SUV hit a trash can, a witness said.

Witnesses then saw the SUV back out of the parking lot at a high rate of speed, crashing into another car in the 7-Eleven lot. That car was pushed onto Route 71.

The SUV continuted at a high rate of speed across Route 71 and into another parking area and along the side of a building, scraping siding off as it went along, the chief said.

“He took out the chimney and the electrical service, and then he threw it into forward,” the chief said.

The SUV then sped back across Route 71 and into the 7-Eleven, said John Burke, who said another witness told him the story. He lives a few houses away from the crash scene and arrived moments after the crash happened.

“He hit another employee’s car and pushed it onto Route 71, but no one was in it. It’s a miracle no one who was driving on the street (Route 71) was hit,” Burke said.

Firefighters from the borough and South Wall remained on the scene for more than two hours because they wanted to shore up the damaged portion of the building before pulling the SUV out of the store.

Both the driver and store clerk were taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.  Names of the driver and the store clerk were not available from police Friday night.

The crash was under investigation, and police declined comment Friday night, referring all questions to the chief on Monday.

The Asbury Park Press contributed to this story.