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2 injured in motorcycle, car collision

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A car careened into the front glass of the Subway restaurant in Hope after the driver hit the accelerator instead of the brake following an accident on State Road 9.

The chain of events that began about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday left two people in the car-motorcycle accident injured, one of them seriously, Hope police said.

Police said the incident began when the motorcycle collided with the Chevrolet Malibu on State Road 9 in front of the shopping center where the Subway restaurant is located.

“I didn’t see the accident, but I saw him (driver of the Malibu) jump the curb,” said Subway manager Cheryl Hendrickson of Hope. “I said, ‘He’s not going to stop, he’s not going to stop’ and he crashed right through the glass.”

The Malibu driver then drove into the front glass of the restaurant, shattering it and scattering tables and chairs that lined the window. Neither Hendrickson nor her employee was injured, and there were no customers in the store when the car plowed through the front window.

Hope police said the Malibu was heading south on State Road 9, preparing to turn into the shopping center where the Subway is located. The motorcycle was going north, and as the car turned into the motorcycle’s path, the motorcycle T-boned the car. The motorcyclist, whom police declined to identify until family members were notified, was not wearing a helmet, police said.

After the collision, the car’s driver inadvertently hit the accelerator and traveled about 100 yards through a grass lawn and parking lot into the front of the Subway.

Hours after the accident, police were still trying to determine who was driving the Malibu when the accident happened.

The two people in the Malibu were identified by police as Michael S. Lonaker, 20, Hope, and Erica Paetzel, 20, Hope. A young child who was a passenger in the car was not injured, police said.

Paetzel was being treated at Columbus Regional Hospital on Tuesday night for shoulder pain, and Lonaker refused treatment at the scene, police said.

Police plan to use surveillance camera footage from a nearby bank to determine who was driving the vehicle.

Hope Acting Town Marshal Matt Tallent said the motorcyclist, who was transported by helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, had several broken bones and facial lacerations. His medical condition was not available by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Tallent said the Malibu, which had New Jersey license plates, was a rental because the couple in this accident was involved in another accident two days ago on County Road 800N. Their car was totaled in that accident, he said.

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