When the SUV smashed into his Georgetown store last night, Paul Nowzari said, "the whole building shook."
Not only that: Before the vehicle rammed through the window of the mailing shop he manages in the 1700 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW, it apparently bounced off his car, which was parked outside, Nowzari said.
In the store, window glass was smashed, the photocopy machine was demolished and mail was strewed "all over the place."
People were startled. They are exhorted to look both ways before crossing streets, but they get little advice about avoiding vehicles on the sidewalks, much less indoors.
Jean Claude Macrez of Jean-Luc, a hair salon next door, said he was on his way to a restaurant when the 6:45 p.m. crash occurred.
The SUV had hit the car, felled a tree and, he said, was heading toward him. He proved equal to the challenge.
"I saw the car coming by, and I jumped to the side," he said.
The motorist, who appeared to be about 50, had apparently lost consciousness while he was driving, said D.C. fire spokesman Alan Etter. He said the man, who may be diabetic, regained consciousness at a hospital.
No injuries were attributed to the crash.
Nowzari said he had never seen anything like it at his store, and never wanted to again. "Unbelievable," he said.