One vehicle crashing into a building might be viewed as a misfortune. Two vehicles crashing into buildings in the same town—in just over a week—begins to look like carelessness. The residents of Dracut, nestled between the Merrimack River and the New Hampshire border north of Lowell, might be wondering why such misfortune has visited their normally quiet town.
Twice in nine days, first on November 17 and then on November 25, buildings in town were hit by out-of-control drivers. Fortunately, although there was significant property damage, no one was injured.
The first crash, around 8:45 p.m. on Friday the seventeenth, was caught from multiple angles by security cameras. The driver appeared to accelerate—or at least didn’t brake—as she moved to park at the Dracut Center Convenience store on Bridge Street. Her vehicle plunged through the outer wall of the store, destroyed the checkout and lottery counter, and continued through some shelves, stopping only when it came up against the store’s freezers.
The driver, who told police she was not used to driving at night, was issued a ticket for operating to endanger (also known as negligent or reckless operation), which carries maximum penalties of a $200 fine, one-year license suspension, and two years in jail. At the last report, the store was still closed for repairs, but there was no major structural damage and the owner hoped to reopen soon.
Alcohol and drugs were not suspected in the convenience store crash, but the following Saturday afternoon, a local man was arrested after crashing his pickup into a utility pole near the intersection of Hildreth and Slater, then continuing into the west corner of the Dracut Department of Public Works building. No one else was on the street or in the building at the time. At least ten customers in the neighborhood, however, lost power for several hours because of the snapped pole.
Building crashes, unfortunately, are very common. Nationwide, there are an average of sixty crashes into commercial buildings each day, leading to around 4,000 serious injuries and 500 deaths every year. Residential building crashes aren’t well tracked, but there might be as many as three times the number of commercial crashes—50,000 to 60,000—each year.
In fact, this isn’t even the first crash into a home in Dracut this year: In July, a car crashed into a home on Nashua Road. No one was seriously injured in that incident, but that’s not always the case: A crash in Newton in 2016 killed two and injured seven.
When you’ve been injured or suffered property damage in a motor vehicle accident, don’t wait to discuss your case with an experienced automobile accident attorney. The team at Joel H. Schwartz, PC understands these kinds of cases, and we’re ready to give you a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case. Call us today at 1-800-660-2270 or contact us online through the form below to schedule yours.