Car slams into building; 1 injured

A vehicle rests inside the Stone Hall Community Center at Autumn Glen retirement subdivision near Stephens City on Tuesday. Police said the driver mistook the gas pedal for the brake and her car jumped the curb and crashed through the center's eastern wing. Henry Culvyhouse/Daily

STEPHENS CITY — A card game among friends was interrupted when a blue Subaru Forrester crashed through the Stone Hall Community Center in the Autumn Glen retirement subdivision Tuesday afternoon.

At 12:44 p.m., resident Kris Pine said she was standing in a doorway talking to her friend, Phyllis Grim, 85, who was stacking books on a shelf, when the car crashed through the front window of the center, which is located at 115 Bayberry Court.

Pine said she and her friends were getting ready for their Tuesday afternoon card game.

“It all happened so fast,” she said. “As soon as I saw it, I didn’t know where Phyllis had went.”

Pine said she believed Grim might have broken her leg and she and her friends waited for Frederick County Fire and Rescue to respond to the scene.

Lt. W.W. Gosnell, of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, said the driver, 66-year-old Susan Kurtz, another resident of the community, was parking her car in front of the community center when she mistook the gas pedal for the brake.

Gosnell said the car jumped the curb and crashed through the center’s eastern wing and went out through the back. Gosnell said the car might have hit a gas line, so gas was cut from the building as a precaution.

Gosnell said the building has been deemed unsafe for occupation. He said at this time there were no estimates of damage to either the car or the building and charges are pending on the driver, who was not injured in the crash.

“The driver was wearing her seat belt and she hit the softest spots of the house,” he said. “The airbags on the vehicle didn’t even deploy, due to how fast she was going and where she hit the structure.”

Firefighters and the Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. Because the crash occurred on private property, the Sheriff’s Office is in charge of the investigation.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com