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Car crashes into Lowville school, damaging basement wall

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LOWVILLE — A Lowville woman on Thursday morning drove into the Lowville Academy and Central School building, knocking out a section of basement wall.

“We were very fortunate that no one was injured,” said District Superintendent Cheryl R. Steckly.

Deborah L. Wilton, 58, an aide at the school, shortly after 10 a.m. was driving a 2010 Honda four-door sedan in the North State Street parking loop when, while entering a parking spot, for some reason failed to stop, drove over curbing and went down a sharp embankment into the building, according to village police.

“Nobody really knows for sure why,” said Lowville police Sgt. Randy L. Roggie, noting Mrs. Wilton had indicated she was unsure of exactly what happened.

The driver was relatively unscathed but was taken to Lewis County General Hospital as a precautionary measure, he said.

The crash — which took place in the high school portion of the pre-kindergarten-through-12th-grade building, near the old boys entrance — was ruled an accident, police said, and no tickets were issued.

The impact did cause damage to both the car and building.

Along with knocking out a section of masonry, the impact also appears to have bent an I-beam, although school officials are unsure how significant that will prove to be, Mrs. Steckly said.

A representative from Mosaic Associates Architects, East Greenbush, which designed the district’s most recent capital project, is slated to visit the school today to assess the damage and come up with an estimated repair cost, she said.

Thankfully, the incident occurred while high school students were taking Regents exams and the sidewalk was clear of pedestrians, Mrs. Steckly said.

It also was fortunate that the car hit a basement storage area rather than a classroom, Sgt. Roggie said.

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