Driver Rams Into Animal Hospital in Clairemont

Officials said an elderly driver accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake, ramming into Ark Animal Hospital in Clairemont Thursday afternoon

An animal hospital in Clairemont sustained heavy damage Thursday after an elderly driver accidentally crashed into the building’s entrance, authorities said.

The crash happened around 2:45 p.m. at Ark Animal Hospital located at 6171 Balboa Ave. Officials with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) said an elderly woman was behind the wheel of her car trying to use the brake when she accidentally hit the gas pedal instead.

Her car plowed through the front of the business, shattering the glass windows in its path. It narrowly missed the receptionist desk in the front, coming to a halt just inches from the desk.

Business manager Heather Heath told NBC 7 she was at the animal hospital when she and her boss were startled by the loud crash. They ran to the lobby and saw the car sitting inside the business.

“We heard some very loud, screeching, banging, and the window rattled,” Heath recalled. “We basically bolted from the office and ran out front to see what was going on.”

Heath said fortunately no one was at the receptionist counter at the time of the crash. No employees or patients inside the veterinarian’s office were injured, she said.

Officials said the driver was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, but did not suffer any visible injuries. A civil engineer was called out to the building to assess the damage.

Heath said the animal hospital would be boarded up for tonight until they can gauge the scope of the repairs that will be needed to get the business up and running again.

She said she was grateful no one was seriously injured in the crash.

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