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Car crashes through Hernando medical building

SPRING HILL — Two people were injured when a car crashed through the wall of a medical office Wednesday morning on the campus of Oak Hill Hospital.

Janney Burmester, 81, was driving the small car that crashed into the doctors' waiting room, and Dorothy Ray, 74, was standing near the door at that time, authorities said.

Burmester, who was cited for careless driving, was treated at Oak Hill's hospital and released. Ray was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg for precautionary reasons. Authorities said neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

The crash occurred about 10:15 a.m. at the offices of Drs. Dennis Ledford and Mark Glaum on the hospital campus off of Cortez Boulevard.

Burmester, was alone and driving a Daewoo hatchback that jumped a curb and traveled about 30 feet before crashing into the office wall.

Witnesses said the car continued through the waiting room, went about 20 more feet through a bathroom where a woman had just emerged, then crashed into an X-ray room.

The driver, witnesses said, was still accelerating as she crashed through the walls.

"We heard a big bang, then the wall came caving in,'' said nurse Joann Cavallucci, who estimated the car was going about 30 mph. "We came out here and this poor lady (the woman in the waiting room) was thrown into another lady's lap. Then, there was a car inside.''

Rich Ribeiro is an X-ray technician who said he had just left the X-ray room about 15 seconds before the crash.

"I was right in the front office looking out into the waiting room. I just saw the car fly right past us and crash into the bathroom and our X-ray room,'' he said.

"I still can't believe it,'' he said. "It was amazing.''

Melissa Moore, a medical manager, was standing in the office and about to use the restroom when the vehicle went through the wall.

She said anyone standing in the bathroom would likely have been killed by the impact.

The driver, Moore said, was conscious and alert after the crash.

The one-story medical office building sustained significant damage as parts of the walls and roof collapsed. The offices were evacuated.

Car crashes through Hernando medical building 02/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 8:11pm]
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