Haddonfield’s main strip bounces back after a freak incident shakes downtown

British Chip Shop on Kings Highway in Haddonfield
The scene outside British Chip Shop on Kings Highway in Haddonfield, where a car smashed into a pillar before driving further up the sidewalk on Thursday night. Photo credit Nigel Thompson

HADDONFIELD, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Haddonfield police have made an arrest after a driver went barreling down the sidewalk on Kings Highway on Thursday night, crashing into at least one storefront, and then speeding away.

Authorities say multiple calls came into the Camden County dispatch center just before 6 p.m. about a driver on the sidewalk near the intersection with Chews Landing Road. No injuries were reported.

Police located the suspected vehicle in Audubon a short time after the incident and arrested the driver, 30-year-old Christian Cappacchione.

'A car coming straight towards me'

Business owners and workers along Haddonfield’s main street are still processing the trauma. Lauren Nicoletto is a server at the British Chip Shop on Kings Highway. She was cleaning tables when a peculiar sound caused her to freeze.

“It sounded like lightning behind me. I turned around and there was a car coming straight towards me,” she said.

Rather than smash through the window Nicoletto was looking through, the White Dodge Charger smacked into a brick pillar outside, skidded down the sidewalk and eventually got back onto the road.

Mitch Gorshin, owner of nearby Ends of the Earth Cigars, said he didn’t think much at first of the crash he heard that night, just outside the shop — “but then I heard another bang, and I heard the engine accelerate.”

Gorshin and a colleague then heard screaming and quickly ran to the corner.

“We saw the car drive all the way up the sidewalk, past CVS, up to the Starbucks, cleared the curb, took a left on Haddon Avenue,” he said.

Gorshin’s colleague called 911 and then got in his own car and followed the severely damaged car to Audubon, where it stopped.

'We all support each other'

A day later, and with the chip shop open despite the caution tape, Nicoletto said the incident has shown the town’s character.

“The local shops, the owners, everybody pulls together. It’s a tight-knit community. We all support each other. We’re all here for each other, especially when something like this happens.”

In the aftermath, Julia Fisher, manager of the nearby Queen’s Carriage Antique Store, said fellow businesses became a much-needed pillar of support.

“The community basically came together, and we were like: ‘What can we do to help another small business in our town?’”

Now, they’re preparing for their annual candlelight shopping nights, beginning on Black Friday.

Madison Leary, who works at Downtown Cookies, across the street from the chip shop, says she doesn’t see the strip missing a beat during one of the busiest times of the year.

“If anything, I think people will come out and be a little bit more supportive because of it,” Leary said.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Nigel Thompson