Photos

Car causes major damage to Fairmont church

Times West Virginian photo by Michelle Dillon A car hit The Baptist Temple on Morgantown Avenue on Monday, causing damage to the building. Damage was also done to the preschool room of the church, pictured here.
Times West Virginian photo by Michelle Dillon
A car hit The Baptist Temple on Morgantown Avenue on Monday, causing damage to the building. Damage was also done to the preschool room of the church, pictured here.

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Ceiling tiles, pieces of brick and cinder blocks could be seen in the nursery of The Baptist Temple in Fairmont after a car crashed into the church Monday afternoon.

No children were present in the nursery during the crash due to the holiday, church secretary Mary Ellen Haney said.

The call about the accident came in at 12:29 p.m. Monday, according to the Marion County 911 center.

A young white male was driving an orange Nissan when his vehicle left Morgantown Avenue and drove through the lawn of The Baptist Temple, knocking over several hundred crosses and hitting the side of the building where the sanctuary is, according to Haney.

“I was sitting at my desk and I heard this boom,” she said. “My first thought, honestly, was it was a bomb, because that’s how it sounded and the building moved. The actual building moved.”

Photo submitted to The Exponent Telegram A car hit The Baptist Temple on Monday afternoon, causing damage to the church building and the church’s nursery.
Photo submitted to The Exponent Telegram
A car hit The Baptist Temple on Monday afternoon, causing damage to the church building and the church’s nursery.

Haney went outside and saw the car in the building. Parts of the car then ended up downstairs in the church’s nursery, she said.

When she saw it, the car was smoking, its airbags had gone off and the driver was still in the car, Haney said.

Haney called 911 and emergency officials responded to the scene, she said.

The car left a hole in the wall of the church. There was damage to the ceiling of the nursery. There were metal pipes dangling from the ceiling of the nursery room and pieces of ceiling tile, brick and cinder blocks littered the nursery floor.

It appears there may be structural damage to the church, Haney said.

“We have to get a damage estimate,” Haney said. “Then we’re going to need lots of hands to help put things back together.”

The church has insurance and hopes it will take care of the damage, she said.

“We’re praising God there wasn’t anyone downstairs,” Haney said.

There were children in the nursery just as recently as noon Thursday. The custodian would have been in the nursery cleaning but she was invited by a friend to lunch on Friday, Haney said.

The driver of the car did not appear to be injured, Haney said.

“He had a cut on his one finger, that’s all,” she said.

The church will have to close the nursery for now. The nursery will probably be moved to the preschool room, Haney said.

No one was transported due to the accident, according to the 911 Center.

The Fairmont Police Department, the Marion County Rescue Squad and the Fairmont Fire Department responded to the call, according to the 911 center.

Email Michelle Dillon at [email protected].

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