Car crashes into ATM booth
Last Modified: February 17. 2013 1:48AM
WILKES-BARRE – A woman claimed her vehicle hydroplaned due to heavy rain, causing her to crash into an ATM booth, narrowly missing striking a man Tuesday afternoon.
Robert Kalinowski, 31, of Nanticoke, said he was withdrawing money for lunch when he turned around and saw a vehicle, a Chevrolet Cobalt, coming at him at about 1:20 p.m.
Kalinowski said he hopped out of the way seconds before the car crashed into the booth located at Public Square and East Market Street.
"It missed me by a matter of feet," said Kalinowski, a reporter for the Citizens' Voice newspaper in Wilkes-Barre. "It wasn't turning; it wasn't stopping."
Kalinowski said he immediately called 911. While on the phone, he opened a car door and a woman, apparently a passenger, took off running.
Stephanie Curry, 20, of Wilkes-Barre, said she lost control of the vehicle she claimed hydroplaned due to the wet road. It was raining at the time of the crash.
Curry said she was unable to turn the vehicle or apply the brakes.
Curry's vehicle struck a support column for an overhang and two metal columns in front of the ATM.
The ATM was not struck by the vehicle, which sustained heavy front end damage.
Kalinowski said he was unable to finish his transaction. He did retrieve his bank card as the receipt was left in the ATM flapping by gusty winds.
Debris from the support column and vehicle scattered for nearly 40 feet from the crash site.
James Smith, of King of Prussia, said he was walking across Public Square when he spotted the Chevrolet going "Maybe 40 to 50. It was going pretty fast."
Smith said it appeared the woman – Curry - did not have control of the vehicle and the man at the ATM – Kalinowski – got out of the way.
"It didn't look like the car was trying to turn," Smith said. "It looked like she lost control and slid into the bank. (Kalinowski) didn't dive out of the way. It was like he saw the car coming and he got out of the way. It wasn't like a dive."
Smith said a woman in the car, "Just took off running."
Police captured a woman after a chase in the downtown area. Curry was not injured but she did have a bruise on her forehead. Kalinowski said he was not injured.
"My heart hasn't stopped and it's been 20 minutes," Kalinowski said after the crash.
Police did not say Tuesday if Curry will be cited.