Volume 94, Issue 89

Friday, March 9, 2001


Ice T concert melts down - Poor sales, schedule conflict cited for cancellation

Car crash sends two to hospital

Bigger gut may equal smaller brain: study

StatsCan study says student debt doesn't stop schooling

Gov't considers limiting cell usage

Study identifies Net addiction

Gun violence in schools in must stop

Planet Me

Car crash sends two to hospital

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

Two 20-year-old males were taken to hospital early yesterday morning after a high-speed car crash damaged a group of buildings at the corner of Richmond Street and Broughdale Avenue.

Const. Victoria Loucks, media-relations officer for the London Police, said a northbound vehicle collided with the storefront that features Becker's, Eastown Pizza and Christina's Pub at about 2:10 a.m..

She said the driver escaped with minor injuries, but the front-seat passenger remains in stable condition in intensive care with injuries to the head and left ankle. "Charges have yet to be laid," Loucks said. "We're still dealing with family notification."

Loucks said single car accidents are rare unless they involve alcohol or road conditions. "Road conditions were fairly clear last night," she said, adding she would not confirm whether alcohol was a factor.

Mike Burnett, the superintendent for the group of connected buildings which range from 1135 to 1137 Richmond St., said he was present at the time of the accident and notified paramedics, police and fire departments.

"[The driver] had to be going between 130 and 140 [km/hr] in order to do that kind of damage," he said.

Burnett, who lives in an apartment above the strip of buildings, said his immediate concern was for the employee who was working inside the Becker's at the time of the accident. "He could have been killed," he said. "The car hit a mailbox which went through the windows and landed on the cash register."

The force of the collision resulted in the car wrapping itself around a hydro pole in front of the buildings, Burnett said, adding the car was so badly damaged, firefighters spent and hour and a half using the jaws of life to get the passengers out of the vehicle.

"The car was a mess. The driver was laid over the steering wheel and the passenger door was completely caved in," he said. "At two in the morning when the bars get out, this street is faster than the Indy 500. It's crazy. I'm surprised [accidents] don't happen more often."

Loucks said the names of the victims could not be released yet.

If it had been a Friday night, Eastown Pizza would have been open until 4 a.m. and there would have been people all over the street, Burnett said. "People would have been killed."

John Panageas, the owner of Christina's Pub, said his establishment escaped the crash with only minimal damage to its base structure. "There was quite a lot of damage for one car," he noted. "We were lucky."

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