Car crashes into Kirschbaum’s Bakery

Vehicle incident causes damage to local business


Kirschbaum’s Bakery remains open with a boarded-up front window covered with St. Patrick’s Day advertisement (Moran/LION).

Ellie Moran, Reporter

Six staff members and one customer were present in the building at approximately 11 a.m. on Feb. 22, when a car crashed through the front window of Western Springs business Kirschbaum’s Bakery, located at 825 Burlington Avenue in Western Springs.

There were no reported injuries, but the property suffered significant damages to pipelines and the exterior. This is the second time a car has struck the storefront, with a similar vehicle incident to the bakery on July 2, 2015. 

“I was just shocked when I saw the damages,” customer Kathleen Dickson said. “It was eerie seeing it like that after being there yesterday.”

The cause of the crash was determined to be an elderly man who accidentally put his car in drive instead of reverse, police spokeswoman Selmin Cicek said, as reported by Western Springs Patch. The driver was issued a citation. The bakery was left with boarded up windows and a damaged gas line. Insurance was able to cover most damages and lost wages from the week. 

“We’re really happy no one was hurt,” daughter of the owners Caroline Kirschbaum ‘23 said. “This could’ve been really bad if it happened one day earlier.”

Staff members were thankful the incident unfolded on Feb. 22 rather than Feb. 21, as it was Fat Tuesday, Kirschbaum said. Many shoppers were present purchasing Pączkis and lines formed outside of the store onto the sidewalk.

“[Vehicle collisions] have been a big ongoing issue around us,” Kirschbaum said. 

Businesses surrounding the bakery have also experienced collisions with their storefronts. Village Hardware, located directly beside Kirschbaum’s Bakery, has had multiple vehicle incidents in the past decade. The village of Western Springs installed small pillars to surround the front of the store. Kirshbaum’s is also aiming to get these pillars to prevent future accidents, and is awaiting approval from the village as well, Kirshbaum said. 

“We are not completely repaired, but our insurance is really good and we are very thankful for that, ” Kirschbaum said. 

The bakery reopened Feb. 28, and remains open for orders despite a broken front window and various repairs to come. It will take an estimated two months to restore the bakery’s structure.