PAOLA — An accidental slip of the foot from the brake pedal to the gas was all it took for Harold Long to send his Ford Taurus careening into the Paola Family Dentistry office on the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 27.
The accident took place at about 2 p.m., when Long said he was pulling into a parking stall in front of Travis Howard’s dental office on the south side of Paola’s Park Square.
Long, 87, of Paola, said he didn’t have time to stop himself once his foot slipped onto the gas pedal, and the vehicle jumped the curb and crashed through a glass window next to the front door. It came to rest inside the waiting area, with the front bumper resting against the welcome counter.
Long was the sole occupant of the vehicle, and he was not injured. Howard said no one was in the waiting room at the time, and no staff members were injured. A receptionist was on the phone at the front counter at the time but did not see the accident take place.
All of the staff members heard it, though, as did several nearby business owners and community members who gathered to see the unusual sight of the car sticking out of the building.
Paola police officers Chad Corbin and Yessenia Rizo responded to the scene, along with Paola building inspector Bill Trout.
The vehicle knocked out a load-bearing pillar, and Trout talked with Howard about repair options to try and limit the amount of time the office would be closed.
Howard already was planning on moving into a new dentist office in March. The office is being constructed off Hedge Lane south of Sonic Drive-In and north of the residential Holly Lane Estates in Paola.