For the second time in less than a year, a car crashed through the front windows of the South Hill YMCA.
A Subaru Forester drove into the southwest portion of the gym at 2921 E. 57th Ave., at about 10:15 a.m. The driver, in her early 70s, was shaken but walked away from the crash. She apparently mistook the gas pedal for the brake while trying to park in front of the windows, according to Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Ron Nye.
About 30 people were participating in a group workout session with loud music when the car crashed into the room. Two people in the group were taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center by ambulance for cuts and bruises, Deputy Alex Velikodnyy said. One victim may have a broken ankle.
“The car came in fast, accelerating,” said Toni Davidson, who was taking the class. “That’s what scared me the most. It was revving at the (second) wall it hit.”
Immediately after the crash, Davidson and others ran into the main gym area yelling for help from anyone with medical training.
Two Marine Corps veterans rushed in to administer first aid. Jerrod Ledford said he was expecting injuries to be much worse due to the number of people in the room and adjacent childcare facility.
“It’s like second nature jumping in there and helping,” Ledford said.
Ledford ripped a t-shirt into strips in case he needed a tourniquet, and also counseled two women who were concerned for their children’s safety in the next room.
The lifting class was set to last until 10:25 a.m., and exercisers were moments from laying on the ground for core a workout.
“I’m glad we were standing,” Davidson said.
Others on the scene received minor injuries, including cuts from broken glass windows.
The Y is closed until further notice.
In November a woman crashed an SUV into the front windows on the southeast side of the building. The gym was mostly empty at the time and no one was injured.
YMCA spokesperson Mary Berry said the organization is exploring preventative safety measures with the South Hill branch’s building owner. Any action will ultimately be the owner’s decision, Berry said.
Staff writer Ryan Collingwood contributed to this report.
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