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Jeep Flies Out of Norwalk Car Wash, Slams Building

A worker narrowly avoided hitting other vehicles Wednesday when the Jeep Commander he was taking out of a car wash accelerated out of control, zooming straight through rush-hour traffic on Westport Avenue in Norwalk. Witnesses said that instead of colliding with other vehicles, the Jeep flew over an embankment. It smashed into another vehicle, which hit the building across the street.

The attendant was taken to Norwalk Hospital. His supervisor at the Splash Car Wash , 186 Westport Ave., did not believe he had been badly injured.

The incident happened just after 5 p.m. Witnesses, who overheard the story as told to Norwalk police, said the attendant was planning to drive up Luftberry Avenue as the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably. Instead, he swerved to avoid another car and was launched airborne. He hit a Jeep Wrangler, which smashed into the glass at Fabrics by the Yard. The Jeep had New York license plates and had been driven in to the car wash by a young mother. She stood near the vehicle with her young son as the tow truck took away the massively damaged vehicle.

The owner of the building, Esther Stefanidi, said the window was scheduled to be replaced later this week. It was supposed to have been done earlier this week, but workers did not have enough glass.

The car wash supervisor said the incident was not unusual with that model of Jeep. There are special training classes for car wash attendants on the problem, known as Jeep Sudden Unintended Acceleration.

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