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Friday, October 31, 2014

Car crashes into Going Bonkers Family Fun Center

The Columbia Fire Department responded to a similar incident last month.

Feb. 19, 2013

A car crashed into the side of the Going Bonkers Family Fun Center on Friday morning.

Although the building was occupied at the time of the incident, no one was injured. The driver and her passenger, who were wearing seat belts, were also uninjured.

The Columbia Fire Department was dispatched to Going Bonkers at 10:24 a.m. Friday, according to a fire department news release. When the driver did not get out of her vehicle, a tan Mercedes-Benz S320, the case was upgraded to an extrication accident.

In an extraction accident, the fire department also dispatches “the squad,” a unit that includes MU Rescue and the fire department division chief and battalion chief, CFD spokesman James Weaver said. The squad carries Jaws of Life and extrication tools capable of removing car doors or prying open roofs to free trapped passengers.

In Friday’s incident, CFD did not need to use extrication tools and later downgraded the incident.

“We just opened the door and let the woman out,” Weaver said. “She was just freaking out so she wasn’t getting out of the car and we called in an extrication.”

After the driver was assisted out of the vehicle, the CFD called Columbia’s Protective Inspections Division to ensure the building was structurally sound, according to the news release. Weaver said the Columbia Police Department also responded to the incident.

The Protective Inspections Division cleared the building to remain open. Weaver said the fact that the car went through a window helped the building’s foundation stay intact.

“The car basically went through an opening where a window was above a wall that it eventually took out,” Weaver said. “Actually, if you’re going to hit (the building), that was a good place to hit it."

Although the building was occupied, no patrons happened to be near the window when it was hit.

“Thankfully there were no children in that area at the time,” Weaver said.

The car was eventually towed from the scene, and a construction crew temporarily closed the hole in the building before further repairs will be made.

The CFD responded to a similar incident Jan. 7, when a Lexus crashed into the corner of a building on Paris Road, according to a previous fire department news release. No one was injured, although the building’s foundation was damaged. Firefighters had to construct wooden bracing for the building before the car could be removed.

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