BEACHWOOD  — A Jersey Shore icon was hit by a car and its longtime owner was hospitalized early Monday morning.

The building housing the Wunder Wiener on the southbound side of Route 9 in Beachwood was struck by a SUV just before 8 a.m., causing "extensive damage and injuries," according to Berkeley Township police.

A witness named Pamela who works across the street and did not want her last name used said she arrived at works moments after the crash.

"The building was completely destroyed. The owner was in there. He was taken by helicopter," the witness said. She did not see anyone inside the SUV being treated for injuries or speaking to police.

Police said one person inside the building was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Mayor Ronald Roma told New Jersey 101.5 that  the owner of the business, Beachwood councilman Gerry LaCrosse, was inside at the time.

The crash also took out a utility pole, forcing the closure of Route 9.

Witnesses said the SUV skidded when the driver tried to avoid a vehicle that was stopped to make a turn. The SUV then struck a utility pole and the stand.

The driver suffered an arm injury that wasn't believed to be serious. The driver's name wasn't released, and it wasn't clear if any charges would be filed.

The Wunder Wiener was in the parking lot of what used to be the Beachwood Shopping Center, which fell into disrepair and was torn down.

"Everybody knows the Wunder Wiener," Roma said, adding that LaCrosse owned the business for 36 years. "He said it was his legacy to his daughter and granddaughter."

Berkeley Township police asked anyone with information about the  incidnet to call  732-341-1132 x2125.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

Vin Ebenau, Jenn Ursillo and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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