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Posted on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 : 6 p.m.

Business owner picks up the pieces after vehicle drives through Honig's Whistle Stop Inc. in Scio Township

By Heather Lockwood


Honig's Whistle Stop Inc. in Scio Township is shown after a vehicle drove through the building Monday.

Photo courtesy of Honig's Whistle Stop Inc.

When a portion of Jackson Road in Scio Township was widened into a boulevard a few years ago, bringing the edge of the road within about 30 feet of his office, Dick Honig had safety concerns.

The owner of Honig's Whistle Stop Inc. said his fears were realized Monday night when a driver apparently lost control of a vehicle and drove into the Jackson Road office.

"Literally, his vehicle was totally inside my office, right over my desk," said Honig, who - along with the rest of his staff - had left a short time before the crash. "If I had been sitting at my desk, I would not be talking to you."

Derrick Jackson, director of community engagement for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, said a suspected drunken driver lost control of his vehicle and drove into the building. The driver suffered non-life threatening injuries, was transported to an area hospital and has been released.

Honig said he had been worried about the road widening all along.

"When they re-did the road, they made it 30 feet from my office, and you've got cars going 50 miles per hour," he said. "I'm sitting here right now and there's trucks, semis flying by."

He says he's considering installing a cement barrier between his business and the road, but he's not sure whether the township will permit it and expects he'd have to pay for it.

"We've been put in this position, and it wasn't really necessary," he said. "They didn't have to make the median as wide as they did."

Honig said the damage was confined to his office and the restroom, so the sports officiating supply company is still able to operate. And though he did not have an exact figure, he estimates damages to be about $15,000 to $20,000.


Owner Dick Honig's zebra collection was damaged in the crash.

Photo courtesy of Honig's Whistle Stop Inc.

But some things won't be easily replaced.

"We've been going through the rubble to see what I've lost," Honig said. "I have a major collection of zebra (figurines) here, and unfortunately the cabinet got knocked down."

The silver lining is that although the entire case was knocked over, somehow only about five of the hand-made zebras were broken.

Honig said he started the collection 30 years ago, and has about 100 from all over the world. When asked why he was drawn to zebras he said, "All of the product we sell is black and white stripe."

He added, "Everyone's living. These things are fixable."

Heather Lockwood is a reporter for, reach her at, or follow her on Twitter.



Thu, Aug 19, 2010 : 7:43 p.m.

Honestly this is too bad and I wish the Buisness luck but this can and has happened many places. I was in Port Huron Mi one time and was just about ready to walk across a street and two cars crashed right into each other right in front of me one almost hit the side of a house but a pole stopped them. I got to think that maybe someone should put up a strong fence or poles outside of places where people sit for long periods if they have safety concerns.


Thu, Aug 19, 2010 : 4:31 p.m.

I say it is the driver not the business. If most people would get off there stupid phone and watch the road we wouldn't have as many accidents. Please don't tell me the person driving forgot which one was the brake and which one was the gas peddle. Pay attention to your driving. I fell sorry for Mr. Honig he can't replace those items, but I am glad the people in the office didn't get hurt.

scooter dog

Thu, Aug 19, 2010 : 3:41 p.m.

If your waiting for scio township to approve a containment wall around your business,you'll be dead before it happens Touchy issue,I'd probably have had something built like a foot thick concrete wall 3 feet high along jackson to protect my life and would worry about them,the township later. There not going to go for anything that makes sence or meets the master plan Its like the house next door,if they stumble comming out the front door they fall in the street. Probably why the grinder place went out of business,nobody would go there with the road next to the eating area.


Thu, Aug 19, 2010 : 11:56 a.m.

I think it's pretty pathetic that we can't have buildings close to roadways without EXPECTING that someone will drive into one. Honestly though, this could have (and has) happened to any building. I can think of two instances off the top of my head where a vehicle has driven into a at a market on Packard near Carpenter and another in the Fountain Square Plaza on Washtenaw. Neither of these buildings were close to the road. I think we need to take the emphasis off the placement of buildings/roadways and focus more on the idiotic driving of the individuals involved. Just my humble opinion.

Mumbambu, Esq.

Thu, Aug 19, 2010 : 9:07 a.m.

Let's just make sure we don't blame the driver.


Thu, Aug 19, 2010 : 5:39 a.m.

The whole boulevard thing was an huge waste of money. If the reason for it was to beautify the roadway - it's already full of weeds and looks bad and will probably get worse. The business owners along that stretch of Jackson Rd. have a right to be concerned. I feel bad for Mr. Honig - the township should step up and ensure that the businesses too close to the road are protected.


Wed, Aug 18, 2010 : 9:46 p.m.

ERWG Couldn't agree more. Dick is a good man and there were some bad decisions made on the building of that road. Mancinos, or whatever it is now should be taken down. I know it's part of a strip mall, but it's just a matter of time before the same thing happens there that happened to the whistle stop. Hopefully it won't be a full restaurant. Also, whoever designed some of the landscaping really let the citizens down. There is a turn near lowes where you have to look through, over, depending on the height of your vehicle, SHRUBS. Seriously, who was the genius who planted those there.