The driver of a Jeep attempting to park at the McDowell County Senior Center on Wednesday lost control of his vehicle, hitting a pickup truck and sending it crashing into the building before the Jeep also hit the building. No one was seriously hurt and the center was not evacuated but county officials were assessing the building for structural damage.
At approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday, emergency agencies, law enforcement and county officials responded to the Senior Center on Spaulding Road after receiving an initial report of a vehicle hitting the side of the building.
They found not only one, but two vehicles had struck the building, one of which went two feet in and damaged the structure.
According to Sgt. X.L. Kha of the Marion Police Department, a Jeep SUV had attempted to park in the handicapped area when the vehicle inadvertently accelerated in reverse, continued around the building and struck a parked Dodge Ram pickup truck – which sent it into one section of the building – before eventually backing into another section containing the center’s exercise room. The at-fault driver would be cited for unsafe movement, said Kha.
The driver of the SUV and an individual inside the exercise room were checked by EMS but refused transport to the hospital, according to EMS Deputy Director Adrienne Jones. No additional evacuations were called for the center.
County officials were called to the scene to assess property damage and structural integrity before removing the vehicle.
“We’re assessing the current situation for the accident that occurred,” said McDowell Public Services Director Terry DePoyster, “and we have structural engineers coming that were involved in the original construction of the building that will review the exterior walls for the Senior Center, for DaVita Dialysis, and make recommendations on repairs.”