Car Crashes into City Council Chambers
No injuries, but damage 'too much to estimate'
A car driven by a 79-year-old Strongsville man crashed into City Council Chambers Wednesday evening, causing extensive damage.
The room, used for meetings by council, the Planning Commission and other boards, as well as for Mayor's Court, was not occupied at the time. The building is attached to the Strongsville police station, located at the City Commons.
Police are not yet releasing the name of the driver, but said he sustained only minor injuries in the crash, which occurred about 8 p.m. He was taken to Southwest General Health Center.
Lt. Mark Fender said police do not yet know what caused the crash. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.
"The blessing is that no one was hurt," Fender said. "It's miraculous. If the Rib Burnoff had been going on, we'd have had people injured."
The driver was heading south on the road next to the Strongsville Library, and apparently failed to navigate the curve to the right.
Had a meeting been going on, injuries would have been likely, officials said. The car crashed through a doorway and slammed into a dais where city administrators sit during meetings, then into the back rows of seats in the audience.
Bricks and debris flew all the way across the room, Fender said.
Building Commissioner Tony Biondillo said he could not begin put a price tag on the repairs.
"It's too much to estimate right now," he said.
The dais will have to be rebuilt and the carpet, with a large oil stain and rips from the flying bricks, will probably have to be replaced.
The speed of the Buick is not yet known, Fender said, but it crashed into a doorway, which offered less resistance than the brick wall of the building.
Most of the debris was cleaned up early this morning. Mayor's Court was being held as usual.
The building was renovated in 2010 as part of an expansion of the police station.
It is often referred to as City Hall, but doesn't actually contain Strongsville's administrative offices, which are on Foltz Parkway.