A car crashed into a residence on Valley Street near the corner of Parker Avenue across from Columbia High School this afternoon, injuring the driver and causing minor damage to the building, according to police and fire officials.
The accident occurred at 2:32 p.m. on Friday, shortly before high school dismissal. The car went over the sidewalk under the cyclone fence of a vacant lot next door to the multi-family house on the 400 block of Valley Street, striking the front porch and setting the engine compartment on fire, said Deputy Chief Walter Nugent of the Maplewood Fire Department.
Engine 32 and the tower ladder truck, as well as an ambulance from the Maplewood First Aid Squad, responded to the scene. The South Orange Fire Department provided mutual aid.
Fire fighters quickly extinguished the engine fire and removed the driver and passenger through the front doors, said Nugent, placing the driver in a backboard as a precaution.
"The big factor was that we were able to provide a quick response," said Nugent.
Capt. John Perna of the Maplewood Police Department said the driver was transported to St. Barnabas Medical Center; no further word is available on her injuries or the cause of the accident, which is under investigation.
Fire fighters then removed the car, which was wedged into the building in a "difficult location," said Nugent, by removing a post from the porch. The building was inspected and found to be structurally sound.
The car suffered significant damage and was towed from the scene, said Perna. The intersection was closed for approximately 35-40 minutes.
The scene of the accident is close to the Shell Gas Station that has been the subject of controversy because of the impending construction of a 7-Eleven on the site, which some residents and township officials fear will cause more traffic congestion in the area.