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Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : latest news : local December 17, 2014

7/16/2014 10:10:00 AM
Strange coincidence
Cars crash into two fitness centers
No charges for fitness center damage
Trib Photo/Cheryl Hartz
Prescott Valley’s Anytime Fitness’ front windows were caved in by a pickup truck on June 18.
Trib Photo/Cheryl Hartz
Prescott Valley’s Anytime Fitness’ front windows were caved in by a pickup truck on June 18.
Courtesy Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Snap Fitness in Prescott Valley suffered damage after a car ran through the building July 9.
Courtesy Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Snap Fitness in Prescott Valley suffered damage after a car ran through the building July 9.
Patrick Whitehurst and Cheryl Hartz

Glass and debris littered the floor and gym equipment stood twisted at Snap Fitness in Prescott Valley this past Wednesday morning after a vehicle drove all the way through the 6455 North Viewpoint Drive establishment at about 2:30 a.m. The business was closed for only part of the next day.

According to Prescott Valley police, a Prescott Valley woman drove her green four-door Honda sedan through the front door of the business and exited the rear of the building. She told investigators her gas pedal became stuck as she pulled up to the business to work out.

No one was inside the gym at the time of the crash and the driver reportedly suffered no physical injuries, police said. She drove her car home after the crash and notified police, but due to shock, was unable to provide a detailed account of the crash, Prescott Valley Police Department Commander Art Askew said.

"We received a call about 2:30 in the morning from someone in the area who heard a large noise and thought maybe an accident had occurred," Askew said. "There were no signs of any impairment from the driver."

The building sustained heavy damage to the front and rear of the structure. Exercise equipment also was damaged in the crash, according to PV Snap Fitness owner Keith Conrad. A fence across the rear parking lot was also damaged. He will not file charges.

"All of our stuff is replaceable," Conrad said.

By 10 a.m. the front of the building had already been repaired and crews continued work on the rear entry. Conrad said the establishment was open by 3 p.m. that day.

"We had the contractors out here at 6:30 a.m. We had the window guy out here at 4:30 a.m.," Conrad said. "Thank God no one was in here. That's the most important thing. The member who did it is perfectly fine, too. She is a bit shaken up. Her car is still drivable."

Anytime Fitness at 6715 E. 2nd Street, also had a driver crash into the front of its building.

Owner Jonathan Shearer said a longtime member hit the accelerator instead of the brake and pushed in windows about a foot next to the front door at around 10:45 p.m. on June 18. The driver, who was not impaired and not injured, immediately called police, who called him, Shearer said. Shearer secured the gap with plywood and the business remained open.

Shearer also won't press charges, saying insurance would cover the nearly $20,000 replacement costs.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Article comment by: Charlene Blake

PR spin by automaker, law enforcement, and media in full force? Do they desperately desire the final report to say "pedal misapplication" in order to deflect from the ELECTRONICS of the computer-controlled throttle control system?

Let's see if the driver is hung out to dry publicly as so many have been in these crashes into storefronts, buildings, and homes. Jail time for drivers has been levied with nothing more than ruling out the mechanical causes. In cases of Toyota and Lexus, inconsistent and inaccurate EDR information has been used to falsely incriminate SUA crash victims. Character assassinations in the media prior to concrete evidence presentation seem to be the norm.

Are automakers nervous that the truth will be revealed publicly? Why are so many of the articles about such SUA events lacking in pertinent details, like make, model, and model year? Why aren't the exact words of the driver stated? Why is there usually immediate speculation that the driver pressed the wrong pedal? These late model vehicles are *computer-controlled*. Glitches occur often. Critical safety standards aren't strictly regulated and fail-safes have been found to be ineffective by experts in the embedded software field.

Charlene McCarthy Blake

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