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Car Crashes Into Wilmette Public Library

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A wall of the Wilmette Public Library after a vehicle crashed through it on Wednesday.  (Photo Credit: Helen Marshall)

A wall of the Wilmette Public Library after a vehicle crashed through it on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Helen Marshall)

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WILMETTE, Ill. (STMW) — A motorist’s momentary pedal confusion caused her to mistakenly hit the accelerator instead of the brake and drive through a wall of the Wilmette Public Library on Wednesday.

No one was injured, and the library wasn’t forced to close, but the mishap sent employees scrambling to deal with the temporary loss of a room normally used to organize books for reshelving, Pioneer Press is reporting.

The driver, a 56-year-old Wilmette resident, reportedly told police she mistook her gas pedal for the brake pedal, Police Chief Brian King said in an email.

Police got the call about a car driving into the library’s north wall shortly before 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. They found the car protruding about five feet into the shelving room.

Three library employees were in the room at the time and one of them was sitting at a desk into which the wall was pushed by the car’s impact.

Although initial reports suggested that one employee was slightly injured, Library Director Ellen Clark said the woman was taken to Evanston Hospital as a precaution.

“I’ve heard that she is at home and doing OK, other than being shaken up,” Clark said.

Not so for the room. “One window is destroyed and another window, while the frame appears to be OK, the glass is gone,” she said. “The crash took out a section of the brick wall, but she seems to have gone through the windows, which is probably one reason (the driver) wasn’t hurt, because they gave way more easily than the bricks.”

Clark, who rushed from a Rotary meeting after getting word of the vehicular visit, said employees are looking for another place in which to organize books for reshelving, “since books are pouring into the building and that work can’t stop.”

Insurance claims adjusters haven’t yet visited the site, so library officials have no idea how much damage was done, Clark said.

“The village engineer has been here though, and told us there’s no structural damage in terms of the building standing up.”

King said charges against the driver are pending the outcome of the investigation, but that “there is no evidence to suggest that the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs.”

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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