SPRING VALLEY – Visitors to Finkelstein Memorial Library in Spring Valley received the shock of their lives when the driver of an SUV lost control of his vehicle and plowed it through the front doors of the building.
The accident occurred on Tuesday night at around 7:40 p.m. when the driver of a Toyota RAV4 went over the adjacent sidewalk, and struck five pedestrians before crashing through the front doors of the library. One of the pedestrians, a 15-year old girl, was pinned by the vehicle and suffered what was initially described as a broken arm.
The crash caused panic in the library, with patrons running from the scene. In spite of the initial shock, police were able to evacuate about 50 patrons from the building through side and emergency exits without incident.
Though six people were injured in the crash, none of these injuries appear to be life-threatening. The girl appears to have sustained the most severe injuries, with her condition being described as “serious.” Another woman suffered a head injury and the driver of the SUV reported pain in his chest.
Police stated the man did not appear intoxicated and related to them that a mechanical issue might have contributed to the accident. According to him, design flaws in that particular model prompted a recall and could be the cause of the car’s failure.
The library sustained extensive damage which included shattered windows, a wrecked circulation desk and severed wires which rendered the building unusable for the time being. According to Library Director Tracy Allen, the scene appeared like a disaster zone.
“We have glass everywhere,” Library Director Tracy Allen said. “We have a huge pile of wood and computers. It’s pretty devastating.”
It was initially anticipated the library would re-open on Thursday with visitors entering via a side entrance on Madison Avenue. However, a voicemail recording on the Library’s answering machine indicated the library will be closed throughout Thursday and gave no indication as to when it will re-open.