BROOKLINE (CBS) – For five and a half hours Wednesday morning, the 1500 block of Beacon Street in Brookline was closed. The cleanup after an early morning crash was extensive and time-consuming. “A car crashed into a tree, the parking meter, the light pole, took another tree. It crashed and broke all these windows here,” a construction worker said to a passerby.
It was just before 4:30 a.m. when the calls started coming into 911. A driver in a black Lexus SUV lost control as she approached Washington Square. The car ended up in the far lane of Beacon with the front end bashed in.
When police arrived, the front of the vehicle was fully engulfed. According to the police report, officers broke out three windows before pulling the victim through the front passenger’s side window. “At that time, we could hear popping noises coming from the vehicle,” a Brookline officer wrote in the report. “Out of concern that an explosion was imminent, we took the occupant and carried to the area to the area of Beacon and Washington Street.”
An officer suffered cuts in the rescue, but was treated and released. The driver was rushed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital with second degree burns over 30 percent of her body along with other injuries. The Brookline Fire Department put out the fire and kept it from spreading to nearby buildings.
“From how I understand it they pulled her out and then the car blew up… just like a bad movie,” said Shahin Naghi whose rug and antiques store was damaged. “We had debris from the car inside the shop,” he said. His windows were knocked out. He got a call from his alarm company, but didn’t realize how bad it was until the sun came up.
Next door, a travel agency lost all but one window. “The hit splattered the glass as far as the back,” said Travel Agent Bill Dunn. “As you can see, I’ve got the front desk here. And there’s only one pane of glass left so I probably would’ve gotten it very bad,” he said.
Dunn and Naghi are thankful this happened before the businesses opened. Had it been even an hour or two later, they worry the outcome could’ve been more severe in an area that fills with pedestrians, including children. “Thank God there was nobody else on the road and nobody on the sidewalk because we have a lot of daycare centers here,” Naghi said. “Had that happened when, God forbid, the kids were in it would’ve been a disaster.”
Police have not released the driver’s name or what they believed happened to cause her to lose control. She was the only one in the vehicle when it crashed.