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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

 

New driver smashes vehicle into testing office

New driver's vehicle smashes into testing office

 

Michael Hasch
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Last updated: 10:09 pm

Nick Martin was taking a test Wednesday to obtain a driver's permit when he was surrounded by the sound of crashing glass and screaming people as a young man drove into the Drivers License Center in Collier.

"The boy was sitting in the car saying, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it.' I was in shock," said Martin, 16, of Imperial, as he surveyed the damage at the facility in the Chartiers Valley Shopping Center on Washington Pike.

Two people were taken to the hospital with injuries, county emergency dispatchers said. Collier police Sgt. Brian Halbleib said the injuries were not serious.

"The boy had just passed the test and pulled into a parking space in front of the center to drop off the instructor," Halbleib said. "He thought the vehicle was in park."

When the vehicle started moving, the driver -- whose age and identity were not released -- panicked and apparently hit the accelerator instead of the brake, Halbleib said.

The car jumped the concrete parking stop and slammed through the front door and glass wall, coming to rest inside the building amid more than a dozen startled and scared customers and employees.

"I heard a loud bang. I actually thought something had dropped off the roof," said Michael A. Deeb, who works next door at the Dollar Bank Loan Center. "I heard people screaming and ran outside. There were people lying on the floor and glass everywhere."

The young driver was distraught, Deeb said.

"He kept saying, 'I hit those people. I hit those people. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Are they all right?' He was beside himself," Deeb said.

Martin said his 12-year-old sister, Alyson Martin, was taken to St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon with a small piece of glass in her back. He said a girl who was standing near the door also was hurt.

"She was on the ground in pain, holding her ankle and leg," Martin said.

Steve Weisbrod, a spokesman for the building owner, Kossman Development in Green Tree, said crews are still assessing the damage.

The center will be closed today, state Department of Transportation spokesman Craig Yetter said.


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