Pickup plows through clinic wall
by Clarke Davis
A pickup truck busted through the brick wall of the Cotton-O’Neil Medical Clinic at Meriden just after noon on Friday and came to rest inside an exam room.
Galen R. Quiett, 43, Topeka, was the driver of a 2001 Dodge pickup that left Highway K-4, tore through a fence, and continued northwest 488 feet across a hay field sideswiping a parked car and then crashing through the clinic wall.
The driver was transported by county ambulance to a Topeka hospital for treatment. He was wearing a seatbelt but there was no airbag deployed.
Dr. Tim Borchers was seeing patients at the time but no one in the clinic was injured. The pickup entered a hallway area after going through the wall and crashed into an exam room on the opposite side of the building.
The truck’s wheels continued to spin at a high rate of speed after the truck came to a stop creating smoke and stench from the burning tires.
Rock Creek Township fire and rescue personnel were quickly on the scene. Fire Chief Robert Fritch said the smoke was pretty thick and indicated it was difficult to grasp exactly what kind of situation they had at first.
The firefighters cleared the area of debris so a wrecker truck could wench the truck back out of the clinic.
Dana Nellis, Valley Falls, a nurse employed at the clinic, had just driven her car out of the parking space that was in the pickup’s path seconds before it hit the clinic.
She said she didn’t see the truck coming but heard the crash behind her.
Highway Patrol Master Trooper Brian Horney investigated the accident. He said the accident was due to a health issue and that no drugs or alcohol were involved.
Highway 4 Automotive’s tow service removed the truck from the clinic and hauled it off the property.
The unoccupied car that was struck in the parking lot was a 2010 Chevrolet Impala.
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