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Tuesday, July 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Crime/Public Safety

South Hill YMCA closed after car drives into the front of the building

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 19, 2018, 9:24 p.m.

A woman drove into the front of the YMCA on the South Hill early Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. No injuries were reported. (Jonathan Glover / The Spokesman-Review)
A woman drove into the front of the YMCA on the South Hill early Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. No injuries were reported. (Jonathan Glover / The Spokesman-Review)

Annie Jones at first didn’t understand the commotion taking place early Monday morning outside her local YMCA. Then she saw it: a hole, about the size of a car, in the front of the building, surrounded neatly by caution tape.

“I got up early for nothing,” she said to no one in particular. “I guess I’ll just start cooking Thanksgiving dinner.”

Hours earlier – and minutes after the popular gym on the South Hill at 2921. E 57th Ave. opened at 5 a.m. – a woman in a white SUV drove into a large front window on the southeast side of the building, creating a large hole and pushing several stair-climbing machines back a few feet.

“She was coming to use the building,” said John Ehrbar, the chief operating officer of YMCA in Spokane. “Didn’t quite get the parking right.”

Deputy Mark Gregory, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, said the woman didn’t appear to be under the influence.

“From what this looks like, it’s one of those driver-made-an-error and hit the building,” he said.

Ehrbar said the gym was mostly empty at the time, save for a few customers and employees. Nobody was injured.

By 8 a.m., a team of structural engineers was on site to survey the damage after the Spokane Fire Department recommended closing until a proper assessment could be completed.

“Pretty much just the frame of the building,” Ehrbar said. “The equipment is fine.”

The staff expected the location to be closed for at least a day.

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