Driver crashes into library wall

Published on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 by Steve Guntli

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An errant driver put a hole in the wall of the Blaine Public Library on August 13. 

The driver, 88-year-old June Belonis of Blaine, mistakenly drove her Honda Accord into the north wall around 12:45 p.m., while attempting to leave the library. Belonis thought the car was in reverse. 

The impact sent several shelves worth of paperback books flying. Fortunately, neither the driver nor anyone inside the building was injured in the crash. 

Debby Farmer, the branch manager for Blaine Public Library, said she originally thought the loud noise coming from the library was an explosion. 

“I thought it was either a bomb, a sonic boom or an earthquake,” Farmer said. “It was just so loud and so sudden.”

The fire department responded to the scene and confirmed that the damage was not a threat to the structural stability of the building, allowing the library to remain open. The damaged shelves have been roped off with yellow tape to prevent any possible injuries. The paperback books that were scattered in the crash were undamaged, and have been moved onto book carts in the aisles of the library. 

“Things are going to be a little tight around here,” Farmer said. 

The building is owned by the city of Blaine. Belonis’ insurance and the city’s insurance should be able to cover the damage, Farmer said, and she hopes that a contractor will be dispatched soon to repair the damage. 

The city didn’t have an estimate as to when the repairs on the library would be completed.