Driver hits St. Croix medical center
Published: February 4, 2013
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ST. CROIX - One person was injured and dozens looked on in shock Saturday afternoon as an SUV rammed through the wall of the Island Medical Center.
A crowd of about 40 people gathered after the initial collision, many with their mouths gaping open in disbelief that such a thing could have happened in such a busy area and even more surprised that no one was seriously injured or killed.
According to police officers and emergency medical technicians on the scene, the driver of the 2002 Ford Explorer reported that he had been traveling through the intersection just south of the building when the car began accelerating. The man said the speed became too much for him to control the vehicle, which jumped the sidewalk, ran through some hedges, jumped the main sidewalk to the center and then plowed through the wall of one of the examination rooms in the building.
Trampled grass and gouge marks on the concrete were left in the wake of the runaway vehicle.
The vehicle came to rest, with most of its body inside the building and only a portion of the rear still visible from the street. Traffic slowed for more than an hour as dozens of motorists slowed down enough to snap cell phone pictures of the vehicle sticking out of the wall as they drove by. Others parked in the nearby lot and walked across the street to get a closer look at the crash scene.
Inside the building, a worker narrowly escaped serious injuries but was treated by a responding ambulance for minor cuts and bruises caused by flying concrete, glass, medical equipment and furniture as the wall exploded, then taken to Luis Hospital for further treatment and observation.
A rubble pile of office and medical equipment, wires, furniture and concrete spilled out of the exam room and into a hallway inside the office.
The SUV's front, windshield, fenders and doors were mangled in the wreckage, but the elderly driver emerged unhurt, though a bit shaken.
According to the emergency blotter, a list of calls to emergency dispatchers as they are called in to 911, the call came in at 12:33 p.m. as a traffic situation and the final disposition was property damage.
Traffic investigators are continuing to investigate the incident.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.