7 injured when SUV crashes into DryClean USA in Fort Lauderdale

Driver, 85, believed to have suffered medical episode

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Seven people were injured Friday morning after a sport utility vehicle crashed into a dry-cleaning business in Fort Lauderdale.

The crash occurred about 9 a.m. at DryClean USA, 749 SE 17th St.

Police told Local 10 News that the driver was an 85-year-old man. They believe that he suffered some sort of medical episode while behind the wheel.

The man was taken to Broward Health Medical Center, along with six others. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

A black Cadillac Escalade came to rest completely inside the dry cleaner.

Cheribin Charite, who has worked at the dry cleaner for four years, was hurt in the crash. He said he was working in the back of the store when the SUV came crashing through.

"When I look, I see the car inside," Charite said. "I don't know how he (got) in."

Fort Lauderdale Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Heiser said the driver and passenger suffered minor injuries. Five others who were inside the store were injured, one of them seriously.

The SUV was removed from the business and towed away.

The store owner said the business will be closed for at least six days as repairs are made. He said his son suffered a shoulder injury in the crash.

Police said they don't plan to cite the driver and believe the driver may have suffered from some sort of medical emergency at the time of the crash. The store owner, Sisnaraine Singh, agrees.

"I say something's wrong with the guy. It's got to be, to go all the way into the building," Singh said.

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About the Author:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.