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Friday, January 17, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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SUV crashes into optical shop

A man checks out the scene where a Nissan Xterra lost control and crashed into a optometrist's office on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, at 5th Avenue and Chandler Street in Spokane, Wash.  (Tyler Tjomsland)
A man checks out the scene where a Nissan Xterra lost control and crashed into a optometrist's office on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, at 5th Avenue and Chandler Street in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland)

An SUV crashed through an optical building in central Spokane this afternoon, sending a man inside to the hospital.

“It was horribly loud, and I was pretty sure somebody hit the building,” said Missy Dunn a billing specialist. “It was a lot of sounds all together.”

The SUV hit the southeast corner of the building, which houses Stahl Optical and Prosser Dentistry, driving into Stahl’s lab. A machine that edges lens fell on a lab worker, trapping him until workers were able to assist him, Dunn said.

Spokane Police Officer Brad Moon said the lab worker was transported to a local hospital as a precaution. But he did not appear to have significant injuries.

The crash occurred about 3:30 p.m. The driver of westbound Nissan Xterra on Fifth Avenue told police that he swerved to avoid a westbound car ahead of him that had stopped to turn south on Chandler Street and hit the building, 251 E. Fifth Avenue - kitty-corner from the Rockwood Clinic. Moon said that the driver reported that he could not stop because of black ice, but Moon said police found no black ice at the intersection.

The driver, who was in his 50s or 60s was uninjured and crawled out the back of the SUV, Moon said.

Moon said Spokane Fire Department officials were on scene to make sure the building, which is only two years old, was stable. Initial examinations indicated that it was structurally sound despite the impact.

Dunn said the intersection of Fifth and Chandler is dangerous.

“We are hearing honks all day long,” she said.

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