A 50-year-old Sag Harbor woman likely was suffering from a medical condition late last Thursday morning, November 15, when her SUV jumped the curb and plowed into the side of the Sag Harbor Post Office building, bashing in a brick wall.
The driver—whom police declined to identify, citing the likely medical condition—was airlifted to the hospital, but no one else was injured, Sag Harbor Village Police said. She was parked in a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer in the post office’s lot on Long Island Avenue shortly before 11:40 a.m. when she revved the engine after putting the car in drive, instead of going in reverse to back out of her parking space, Detective Jeff Proctor said.
The motorist, whom police believe might have had a stroke, seizure or heart attack, was airlifted via Suffolk County Police Medevac from Havens Beach to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment, Det. Proctor said.
According to Det. Proctor, witnesses at the scene said the woman was unconscious immediately after the crash but regained consciousness and was able to walk when police arrived. He noted that she was unaware of what happened. There were no passengers in the car.
“We heard the glass breaking and a loud bang,” said Postmaster Buddy Klein as he stood in the cordoned-off lot, shortly after the accident, a piece of yellow police tape in his hand.
At the crash point was a gaping hole, rubble lay strewn across the sidewalk, and inside the building a window was shattered and knocked out of place and one shutter was propped against a displaced parking block.
One could see straight in to what Mr. Klein said was the carrier section of the post office. One letter carrier’s desk is near the crash point, but he was not at his desk at the time. If he had been, he could have been “severely injured,” Mr. Klein said.
There were about 12 employees in the building at the time of the crash, but they could not reenter until a structural engineer determined that the building was safe, Mr. Klein explained. A few hours later, patrons could be seen entering the post office and the lot was full of cars again.
This week, Mr. Klein said the post office was still waiting for estimates on how much it would cost to repair the damage, but the post office’s regional facilities office declared the building “structurally sound” shortly after the incident. The hole is now sealed with plywood and cordoned off. He could not provide a time frame as to when it would be back to normal.
Mr. Klein, who has been at his job for just two weeks, noted that he’s already had two big events, Hurricane Sandy and this crash.
Police said the Trailblazer was towed to an auto body shop. Criminal charges are not expected.