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Car slams into city clinic; nobody injured

VERGENNES — Vergennes patients, doctors and UVM Health Network officials were scrambling late last week after a car on Thursday rammed the front of the Vergennes UVM Health Network Primary Care practice on North Street and wound up partially entering its waiting room.
Porter Medical Center spokesman Ron Hallman and Vergennes police confirmed nobody was hurt in the noontime accident, which forced the office to close and to reschedule Thursday afternoon and Friday appointments and send patients to UVM network practices in Bristol and Middlebury.
Doctors at the Vergennes practices “deployed to other practices” to take care of patients, Hallman said. The Vergennes office remained closed on Friday while officials assessed the damage.
That damage was limited to the waiting area, and Hallman said construction engineers onsite on Friday believed a temporary fix could put the practice online as soon as Monday.
“It could be up and running fairly quickly,” he said, adding, “It appears at this point we’ll be back in business early next week.”
Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel said police believe the driver of the car was going to the practice, but when she pulled into a parking spot she accidentally pressed her vehicle’s gas pedal instead of its brake pedal.
The car then struck a support post on an entrance overhang before breaking through the exterior wall of the waiting room, compromising that part of the structure.
Police received the accident alert at 12:03 p.m., and the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad and Vergennes Fire Department also responded to the scene.

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