SUV smashes into Auburn oil change building, clips worker

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A vehicle crashed into the exit wall of the Prompto oil-change garage on Center Street in Auburn on Friday afternoon. The driver inadvertently hit the gas pedal and swerved to avoid a worker, seated in the background, causing apparent structural damage to the building. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

AUBURN — An employee suffered minor injuries Friday when a customer’s car at an oil-change garage struck the worker before crashing into a wall, causing structural damage.

Marc Bureau, manager of Prompto on Center Street, said the driver of the Mitsubishi SUV had entered the center bay and was told to stop when his foot apparently slipped off the brake pedal onto the gas. The vehicle lunged forward, smashing into the left side of the opening for the garage bay exit.

A worker, who had been in the path of the vehicle, jumped to the side, Bureau said.

“My employee got nicked on the knee, twisted his knee a little bit,” Bureau said. “But he was able to jump out of the way in time, thank goodness.” 

“He made it over the (oil change pit) and then tried to avoid my employee and took the wall instead of the employee,” Bureau said. “I’m OK with that.”

The impact pushed out a supporting wall, opening up stress cracks in the masonry elsewhere on the building.

Fire Battalion Chief Don Flanagan said the building would be closed and a structural engineer would be called in to assess the damage and gauge the building’s structural soundness.

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