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Car crashes into north Spokane bank

Sun., April 17, 2005, midnight

A north Spokane bank briefly turned into a car showroom Saturday afternoon, when a wayward Honda Civic smashed through the front wall and came to rest in the midst of demolished office space.

The driver walked away uninjured despite the destruction that surrounded him inside US Bank, 102 W. Indiana Ave.

The bank was closed at the time, and no one was inside the building – at least until the car went through the wall.

When police first saw the scene after they were called to the bank about 5:35 p.m., officers were concerned that a robber might have been looking for a creative way inside. Investigators soon realized, however, that the motorist was not after money.

The driver of the Civic, who declined to give his name, was northbound on Atlantic Street when he attempted to turn west onto Indiana Avenue, said Spokane Police Officer K.L. Vaughn.

The driver pulled out in front of a Dodge pickup, which hit the Civic.

The Civic’s driver, who was cited for failing to yield, lost control and plowed into US Bank, Vaughn said.

“It’s almost surreal,” said Ryan Stud-ley, who was driving the pickup. “I just saw a red flash in front of me.”

The car left a hole 4 feet high and about 8 feet across in the wall that was constructed partly with a thin layer made from concrete and pebbles.

Vaughn said alcohol and drugs were not factors in the crash. The Civic’s driver was wearing a seat belt.

The car was pulled out by a tow truck, which took out a whole section of the wall in the process.

The branch likely will open for business on Monday, said Ralph Tinsley, US Bank’s local property manager.

“It’s just going to be a little drafty until we get the hole filled,” Tinsley joked. He estimated that damage to the bank is beyond $10,000.

And for anyone with nefarious intentions, Tinsley warned that a guard will be posted at the scene until the building is repaired.

“Nobody can get any money in here anyway,” he said, noting that the vault remains secure.


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