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Car crash causes natural gas leak, shuts down portion of Commercial Drive

By WKTV News

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - A portion of Commercial Drive in New Hartford had to be shut down Wednesday afternoon after a car accident that severed a gas line.

According to New Hartford Police, around 2:11 p.m. On Wednesday, May 16, New Hartford Police responded to an accident at Empire Vision on Commercial Drive. Prior to arriving at the scene, law enforcement and fire personnel were notified that the vehicle involved in the crash struck a gas main that was attached to the building and same was leaking large quantities of natural gas.

Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, a portion of Commercial Drive and the Price Chopper parking lot had to be shut down for safety reasons.Shortly after, Empire Vision was evacuated of all patrons and employees.

National Grid was also contacted to resolve the natural gas issue.

Police said that the vehicle involved in the crash was being operated by Audrey Percival, 90, from New Hartford. Percival told police that she was attempting to pull into a parking space in the Empire Vision parking lot when she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, sending her vehicle into a sign post, a tree stump and then into the rear corner of the Empire Vision building.

After striking the building, Percival's vehicle then traveled along the rear of the building before again striking the building removing a natural gas main/meter assembly.

The impact of severing the gas line to the building caused a large amount of natural gas to be released into the surrounding area, police said.

Percival complained of minor pain to her right wrist at the scene and was treated by members of the New Hartford Fire Department and Edwards ambulance.

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