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Scotch Plains Library Car Crash

Photo by William A. Burke for The Times

Unexpected Visitor...The Scotch Plains Public Library sustained some structural damage last Saturday morning after this Lincoln Town Car crashed into the side wall of the building. The motorist, a resident of Scotch Plains, was not injured. She told police the accident occurred when the gas pedal became stuck. Library Director Norbert Bernstein said it was fortunate that the library was closed at the time, because the section of the building where the accident occurred is normally busy with library patrons eager to peruse new books which are displayed there.

DIRECTOR PREDICTS REPAIRS WILL TAKE ONE TO TWO MONTHS

Woman’s Car Damages Glass Wall At Scotch Plains Public Library

By SUZETTE STALKER

Specially Written for The Times

A woman lost control of her car last Saturday morning and struck a glass wall at the Scotch Plains Public Library on Bartle Avenue, damaging the wall and two brick support structures, according to police. The motorist was not seriously injured and the library was closed at the time of the accident.

Captain Joseph Protasiewicz of the Scotch Plains Police Department confirmed that a 1989 Lincoln Town Car driven by Mary Loh, 72, of Scotch Plains, struck the east side of the building at 11:03 a.m. She told police that the gas pedal had stuck and she lost control of the vehicle, according to Captain Protasiewicz.

The captain said authorities were alerted to the accident by a police officer who was working traffic duty nearby. He said the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad responded to the scene to check on the condition of the motorist, who he described as "shaken up" but not injured. She was not issued any citations in connection with the accident, Captain Protasiewicz said.

"Fortunately, we’re closed on Saturdays and Sundays during July and August," remarked Library Director Norbert Bernstein. "If people had been here, there could have been some injuries."

He said the damaged wall is in the section where the latest fiction and non-fiction books are displayed for five months after their arrival. During other times of the year, the area typically would have been busy with library patrons on a Saturday morning, Mr. Bernstein said.

He remarked that "it broke my heart" to see the damage, which he anticipated will cost several thousand dollars and take "a month or two to repair." While he does not believe the building will be fully repaired by the opening of the new school year in September, he said he feels the incident will not have a significant impact on business at the library.

Mr. Bernstein reported that the shelves in the damaged section can still be used to display books.

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10/25/97.

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