2 hurt in crash on 26th Street West in Bradenton

gjefferies@bradenton.comDecember 3, 2013 

Two people were hurt when a sport utility vehicle crashed into an office building Tuesday afternoon on 26th Street West in Bradenton, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

FHP Sgt. Joseph Bowers reported two vehicles were northbound on 26th Street West at 3:05 p.m. in Manatee County. As a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe reportedly stopped, a 2003 Ford F-150 Super Duty pick-up driven by 21-year-old Jeffery Walker of Bradenton failed to brake, striking the SUV in the rear, according to FHP Trooper James Harris.

Walker was later issued a citation by FHP for careless driving.

The 61-year-old male driver of the Santa Fe lost control of his vehicle when it was hit and swerved off the road, crossing bushes and striking a 9-year-old boy before crashing into an office building.

The two injuries from the crash were not serious, Harris said. The driver from West Palm Beach was sent to Blake Medical Center and the boy was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital.

Rebecca Fontanella said she was just locking the door at James R. Goodard, CPA, Accounting and Tax Services when she saw a car barreling toward her.

“It was so scary,” Fontanella said. “I didn’t know which way it was going to go.”

She watched as the car rushed past bushes where a handful of children were crossing the parking lot.

“One of the mothers tried to pull the kids out of the way,” she said. “He did hit one but thank God he wasn’t hurt badly, just some bumps and bruises.”

The car crashed into the office of Fontanella’s boss.

“Fortunately, my boss wasn’t here today,” she said. “He called out sick because, if not, he would have been sitting there and he could be dead.”

Manatee County Building Department officials onsite deemed the office unsafe until repairs are made and inspected.

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