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Crash won’t close Palos Heights rec center

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Updated: February 16, 2013 6:14AM



A Lemont man was taken to the hospital Monday morning for precautionary reasons after crashing his car into an exercise room at the Palos Heights Recreation Center.

“We were very lucky,” parks and recreation director Mike Leonard said. “Thank God the driver was OK and the classroom was empty.”

Fitness classes were scheduled to begin within a half-hour, he said.

The 90-year-old driver drove his 2007 Lincoln through the wall of the building at 6601 W. 127th St., Deputy Police Chief David Delaney said.

“He thinks his foot may have slipped,” Delaney said, adding that there was no ice in the parking lot. The man, who was there to take a wood-carving class, will not be cited, police said.

The rec center will continue to operate, Leonard said. The damaged room is used for a majority of the center’s fitness classes, which can be moved to another location in the building, he said.

Leonard, whose office is on the other side of the center, heard nothing, but said his staff heard a loud “boom.”

“They said, ‘You better get down here. Someone just drove through the building,’ ” Leonard said.

The director said it was too early to know how long it would take to repair the wall, pending inspections by the insurance adjustor and the building commissioner.

“To me, it’s a blessing that everyone is OK. That is our No. 1 concern,” he said.



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