Friday, June 27, 2014

Driver who crashed through community centre wall found sitting on chair nearby reading a book

Part of the Warren County Community Centre in Front Royal, Virginia remains closed after a car crashed through a wall in the building on Saturday morning. The county closed off the large meeting room, referred to as the assembly hall, and an adjacent space in the community centre. The other three meeting spaces in the former Samuels Public Library building are still available. County Administrator Douglas Stanley said he expects a contractor to begin repairs this week and complete the work in about 30 to 45 days.

County employees met with a contractor at the facility who estimated the damage at $75,000. A cost estimate for damage to fences on the nearby Randolph-Macon Academy property was not available. The county completed renovations to the former library in 2011 and approximately $700,000 in grants covered most of the cost. The community centre serves as a popular meeting venue for residents and local civic groups. Front Royal police responded to the centre at approximately 1am for a report of an alarm sounding from the building.

Officers arrived and found a large hole in the rear of the building, Chief Norman Shiflett said. The officers found a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze inside the building and the driver nearby. Officers identified the driver as Mario Yaxcal-Pec, according to the incident report. Shiflett said police charged him with reckless driving and driving on a suspended licence. The driver is scheduled to appear in the General District Court July 8. The incident report filed for the crash notes that it appeared the car travelled south and went through a fence on Randolph-Macon Academy property.

The car continued to travel on the school's field, through another fence and then into the community centre parking lot. The vehicle broke through a rear wall of the building and then came to a stop inside the centre. The Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services also responded to the scene to assess any injuries to the driver. Officers found the driver sitting on a chair inside the community centre and reading a book. The report indicates the driver told officers "he was brought here to fight the war of the worlds and advised that God drove him to the location." The driver passed several field sobriety tests conducted by the officers. Responders took the driver to Warren Memorial Hospital for an assessment following comments he made to officers at the scene.

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