WTF? Cars keep crashing into Philly buildings

It’s happened at least seven times in the past two months alone.

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Arjen Toet / Flickr Creative Commons
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Whether they’re hurtling down a highway or rolling down city streets, motor vehicles are capable of doing some serious damage. Last year, there were 99 traffic fatalities in Philadelphia, according to the Bicycle Coalition, contributing to the count of 40,100 killed nationwide.

Recently, drivers in Philly seem to be on a tear of pounding their vehicles into buildings, either crashing directly into walls, windows or doors, or getting shoved into them after impacting something (or someone) else. Not all of these incidents have led to injuries or casualties, but others have been far more destructive.

In the past eight weeks, at least seven vehicle/building crashes have occurred in the city — three of them since the beginning of July alone.

What the heck is happening? We have no idea. To illustrate the extent of this unfortunate trend, here’s a roundup of the recent occurrences of this all-too-familiar news update.

May 21: Juniata Park shopping center 

Instead of hitting her brake pedal, the driver stepped on her accelerator and slammed straight through a Rainbow in Juniata Park. In the midst of the calamity, she struck another car in the Hunting Park Avenue shopping center’s parking lot.

June 3: Roosevelt Blvd. auto body repair 

A multi-vehicle crash on Roosevelt Boulevard in Feltonville led to one of the vehicles involved to hurtle into an auto body repair business (*very Alanis Morrisette voice*: And isn’t it ironic?).

June 20: Champ’s Diner in North Philly

A post shared by Champ's Diner (@champs_diner) on

Champ’s Diner usually gets wasted Temple University students careening through its doors, but doesn’t often get an Uber careening into its front security gate.

It isn’t the Uber driver’s fault, though. A medical emergency caused the driver to lose consciousness and control of the car.

Luckily, structural damage was slight and the diner resumed normal operations two days later.

July 5: Northeast Philly lawn 

There’s no comical anecdote for this one, only heartache for a Northeast Philly family.

While spending time with his family in a kiddie pool, James Derbyshire was bashed by a SEPTA bus and died at the scene. Two of his family members who were also caught in the bus’s dangerous path had to be taken to the hospital.

Of the sixteen people on the bus, three — including the driver — were also taken to the hospital.

This all resulted from the driver running a red light at Frankford and Morell, leading to a deadly domino effect.

July 8: Corner spot in Fairhill 

According to witnesses, police were following this minivan when the driver swerved to avoid a motorcycle near the intersection of C Street and Allegheny Avenue.

This resulted in the vehicle spinning out of control, tipping over and sliding into a wall. As you can see in the image above, the car stopped mere inches from the doorsteps.

July 9: West Philly stoop

This one didn’t even make more than a brief blip on the news radar, so details are few.

A car described only as “out of control” somehow careened into a building on the 4100-block of Ludlow that apeared to be undergoing renovations.

July 13: Homes in Queen Village

The latest car collision to result in a building getting rammed into was also the result of a medical emergency.

This caused the driver of a Jeep to run a stop light, striking a Toyota Camry and dragging it with him for 20-feet until stopping at this building on Second and Christian Streets.

 

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