A car heading east veered across Montauk Highway just after 2 p.m. on Sunday, jumped a curb, and slammed into a tree and a telephone pole at the Red Horse Plaza in East Hampton Village.
The driver of the Lincoln sedan, an elderly man, was taken to Southampton Hospital but did not appear seriously injured. The car had severe front-end damage, according to witnesses.
"He was a little out of it. He didn't know what happened," said Rodney Roncaglio, an owner of Wines by Morrell, who was working at the complex when the accident occurred. Mr. Roncaglio said he was at his computer, with his back to the window. “I felt the accident -- and then, boom," he said.
He ran outside, opened the driver's door, and unbuckled the man’s seatbelt. The engine was smoking. The driver managed to get out on his own and made his way to a nearby bench. His wife, who was in the passenger seat, had her hand over her heart, Mr. Roncaglio said, when he opened her door. "She was thoroughly, thoroughly frightened."
The woman did not appear hurt, but both she and her husband went to the hospital. The East Hampton Ambulance Association transported them.
Mr. Roncaglio said the accident could have been worse. "Thank God there was that large tree there, otherwise he would have taken out a few cars in the parking lot," he said. It was lucky too that the Lincoln did not hit any oncoming cars as it crossed the highway, he said.
About half an hour after the crash, police called the East Hampton Fire Department to the scene, where a downed wire was impeding removal of the car. Fire officials called for the rescue truck, which carries a piece of equipment to move live wires. An engine also stood by.
It was the second accident at the complex in less than a week. On April 9, an elderly woman drove her car into the Red Horse Market, shattering a large window and damaging the exterior brickwork.
"They say things come in threes," said Mr. Roncaglio. "God knows what the third one will be.