So, some of you may have heard this news already. You think you've seen it all, and then one day you find out you were wrong. It was a relatively quiet morning on what is usually the busiest day at Valley Foot and Ankle. I was treating a patient in a back room when I heard a low rumbling sound followed by horrifying screams. I ran to the front, and this is what I saw:
It was like one of those weird dreams where you wake up the next morning and think, "Hmm, that was strange." The persistent screaming from patients, office staff, etc. assured me however, that it was not a dream. It was so persistent that I was sure someone was trapped underneath the vehicle, but no, most of it was coming from the driver who still behind the wheel, was emotionally distraught, but otherwise unhurt. Attempting to park in front of the office, her foot had slipped off the brake and hit the gas. Literally seconds earlier, there had been two women sitting in the chairs you see just below the vehicle, but one had been called back to a treatment room and the other decided to go to the restroom.
Were it not for their timely departure from their seats, they would have been goners, and this otherwise frightening occurrence would have been a tragedy. Of course, mom, who is now managing the office, called 911, and before long there were police, rescue personnel and media people everywhere.
There was only one other young patient in the waiting room at the time, sitting in a corner chair just to the right of the bumper. He was sprayed with glass shards, but since the vehicle entered at an angle, he was otherwise untouched. The vehicle stopped within an inch of the reception desk, trapping him into the corner, but he was able to get out by climbing over the hood. Two weeks ago while having nail surgery in my office, he had received a cell call offering him a new sports writer job at an Iowa newspaper, and after this follow-up appointment, he planned to drive out there to his new life. Looks like he's still good to go. As I was helping him over the hood of the car, he expressed appreciation for all the interesting experiences he had been through in my office. Never a dull moment.
Outside, the Suburban had gone between a tree and a concrete pillar, and made direct impact with the window, barely missing adjacent bearing structure and brick walls.
The beefy header above the window stopped the forward motion, essentially preventing the vehicle from going completely into the office and through the reception wall, behind which staff were sitting a couple of employees with lots of electronic equipment there. Lots of near-misses. Damage to the building is significant, but not structural - mostly glass and stucco.The best part: miraculously, no one was injured.
The fire department extracted the vehicle, a restoration company was there within a half hour to clean up the mess, and we went on with our day's schedule, just a little more grateful for life, and a little more sure that we are all watched over....
...and we got a little more fresh air in the office. We also got a little free (?) publicity out of the matter - front page of today's Idaho State Journal. Here's the article/video