No one was seriously injured when a Lexus sedan crashed into the AAA building on Marginal Way in Portland on Tuesday morning.

The crash happened at 10:24 a.m. when the driver apparently pressed the accelerator instead of the brake and launched into the side of the building with such force it was felt on the fifth floor, said workers at the building. The building houses the headquarters and local offices for AAA of Northern New England.

Police said the driver was an 80-year-old woman but did not immediately release her name. Witnesses said she was shaken up but appeared to be OK.

The driver had come to the building to make arrangements for a trip, according to Pat Moody, spokesman for AAA of Northern New England.

Robin Tucker, who sells life insurance for the automobile and travel organization, was sitting at his desk on the other side of the wall when he heard the engine revving loudly.

“I heard a rev. I glanced up … and saw her coming at me,” Tucker said. He was able to move slightly so when the car buckled the wall, his desk hit him on the side of the leg.

“The car came flying at me and then there was glass everywhere and dust. We’re both staring at each other through the window,” Tucker said of the driver. “She was totally shocked.”

Several employees came into the area after they heard the crash but he urged them to leave because it did not appear safe.

“There was lots of glass and falling ceiling tiles,” he said.

Tucker said he wasn’t hurt, though the experience was intense.

“I may take a long lunch break,” he said.

The Lexus ES350 was removed after a structural engineer examined the building and determined that it was safe.


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