CORTLAND - The owner of an animal hospital that was heavily damaged Wednesday by a pickup truck said she was grateful she made a stop before going to work.
Kimber Mackenzie, who has operated Western Reserve Veterinary Hospital since 1998, said the crash wiped out her office and damaged the utility room at the facility.
"I could have been sitting right there in my office," she said. "But I decided to run an errand before I came into the office. I'm just happy to be OK and that the girls who were here at the time are OK."
A pickup truck juts from the Western Reserve Veterinary Hospital in Cortland on Wednesday.
Mackenzie said two female employees were at the facility at the time of the crash. One, Lori Carr, 52, of Vienna, suffered scratches to her hand from the flying debris. She was not taken to the hospital, Cortland police said.
Mackenzie said several cats were also at the hospital. None of them belonged to clients.
According to reports, the truck hit the animal hospital at 677 S. High St. around 8:34 a.m., and partially went through the structure.
Investigators said the driver, William Bradley, 80, of Vienna, was traveling on state Route 5 when he drove through two utility poles, went airborne and crashed through the front part of the building.
Bradley walked out of the truck after the accident but was taken to an area hospital as a precaution, police said. He was admitted to the hospital and said he did not remember the crash, police said.
Officers said they plan to cite Bradley with failure to control his vehicle.
Meanwhile, workers were attempting to secure the building and cover the large hole in it throughout the day. Mackenzie said the facility will remain closed and she doesn't expect to open for clients until sometime next week.
"If this were going to happen, the time really was the best-case scenario," Mackenzie said. "It was early in the morning when no clients were here but there were staff people here to rescue the animals here. If this had happened over the weekend we might not have known about it right away, at least until we were notified.
"If it had to happen, it happened at the best time on the best day of work. It could have been so much worse and I am so thankful it isn't. We'll work through this."
Mackenzie said the animal hospital was established in 1976. She purchased the building in 2003, although she has been operating the facility close to 15 years.