Hamburg residents were gathering around the city square for the annual Christmas parade Thursday when a driver ran his SUV into a building on the edge of the square.
The crash, which happened at 102 W. Lincoln St., was heard across the square and bystanders flocked to the area. Witnesses said that it sounded like gunshots were going off as the vehicle struck the building.
Hamburg Police Chief Johnny Oliver didn’t release the driver’s name, but said that the driver was coughing or choking at the time of the crash, which is what caused him to run into the building.
Oliver said there were no passengers in the vehicle and no one was inside the part of the building impacted, but there were people gathered in the area to watch the parade when the incident happened.
Oliver said that there were no major injuries, but that a 15-year-old minor was transported to the hospital.
Oliver said the minor wasn’t hit by the car itself, but possibly hit by debris from the wreck.
The parade, which was in route from the fair-grounds when the accident occurred, was delayed briefly as the officers from the Hamburg Police Department worked the scene.
“We didn’t actually have to re-route the parade, we just moved it over,” Oliver said.
Oliver said officers were able to clear the area long enough for the parade to pass and hold the wrecker until after the parade was over.
The car was lodged under an outside awning on the building and it appeared to have knocked over one the support columns. Oliver said that owners of the building worked with an employee from a wrecker service to keep the building from falling in when they moved the vehicle.
“It will still have to have some work done on it, but it didn’t fall in completely,” Oliver said.
As of Friday afternoon, Oliver said that he had spoken with the child’s family and verified that there were no major injuries.