"It was coming straight towards us and we went running. We didn't know where it was gonna go," Downing said.
The vehicle struck another car before traveling through bushes, across a landscape island and several feet before crashing through the front of the building.
"It was really scary," said Molly Esau, an employee who was inside Lou Lou's Decor at the time. "I just ran towards the back."
Esau was uninjured during the incident. No customers were inside Lou Lou's at the time.
The driver, a resident of Aquidneck Island and owner of an island liquor store, was transported to Newport Hospital after complaining of minor pain. Her injuries are considered non-life threatening.
Lou Lou's Decor is located in a retail plaza at the intersection of King Charles Drive and West Main Road in Portsmouth. Several stores are located in the building, as well as doctor's offices above. Patients, doctors and employees fled the store the moment they heard the crash.
"It was a screech and then a bang," said Amy Denneny, manager of Deborah Winthrop's Lingerie store in Portsmouth.
The driver had just left Deborah Winthrop's Lingerie moments before the crash.
"She thanked me and left (the store). She was fine," Denneny said.
Portsmouth fire officials allowed employees, doctors and patients back in the building just before noon after Portsmouth Building Inspector George Medeiros examined the structural damage.
The cost of damage is unknown at this time. The vehicle sustained heavy front-end damage.
Both Stacy Carlson, owner of Lou Lou's Decor, and Mary Warlop, owner of the condo complex, arrived after hearing about the crash.
Crews from both the Portsmouth and Tiverton Fire Departments responded to the scene. Ray's Towing removed the vehicle from the building.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by Portsmouth police.