This is the terrifying moment an SUV hurtled through a convenience store window – missing a customer by mere inches.
Seconds after Jonaya Peterson stepped up to the counter at the 7-Eleven in Waterbury, Connecticut the black Ford Explorer slammed into the store.
It only clipped her back before pulling out of the store and driving off. But police tracked down the driver after a store clerk recognised him.
Calm before the storm: Surveillance footage shows Jonaya Peterson buying a lottery ticket at a Connecticut convenience store
When he was caught, Kennedy Dowdell refused to take a sobriety test.
‘I ain’t taking no test. I’m drunk and I know I will fail the test,’ the Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran said, according to court documents.
The crash on Monday night was caught by surveillance cameras inside the store, which was left with metal, glass and debris littering the ground.
Peterson has spoken out about the ordeal, admitting she had initially thought to use another cash register – meaning she would have been hit.
Shock: The vehicle comes to a stop in the store, and only clips Peterson
Escape: The driver, recognised as a regular by the shop owner, backed out
‘I just heard a loud boom and it just happened so fast, I had no time to react to that,’ she told NBC Connecticut.
She added: ‘I think I’m very lucky. My angels were looking over me because, after seeing that video – it’s hard to watch.’
She was buying a lottery ticket when the car smashed through the glass and hit her in the back, police said.
‘I felt that sharp pain, and I got pushed against the register,’ she said. She then jumped up onto the shop counter to get out of the way of the vehicle.
Damage: Peterson watches the driver escape but police later caught up with him
Arrested: The driver, Kennedy Dowdell (pictured with his attorney), told police he would not take a sobriety test as he knew he would fail it
After the car pulled off, Peterson was taken to hospital. ‘I’m just happy to be alive,’ she added.
Dowdell appeared before a judge on Tuesday on charges of third-degree assault, operating a vehicle under the influence and other charges.
His attorney Donald Papscy told NBC: ‘Within the last year, he just got back from serving two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
‘What you’re going to see here is young men make mistakes.’
He will appear in court again on April 24.