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Car backs through building, comes to rest on opposite end

By KBell
Nov. 4, 2010 at 6:04 a.m.

Paul Belcik, 85, of Victoria, said the accelerator on his car got stuck while backing out of his driveway on Polk Street. His Buick Century accelerated out of control and crashed through the wall of  Body of Fitness gym, behind Church's Chicken on North Navarro Street. No one was inside the gym at the time.

A car backed through the Body of Fitness gym and came to a rest on some exercise equipment inside the opposite end of the metal building around 2 p.m. Thursday.

No one was inside the gym, located behind Church's Chicken at 3810 N. Navarro St., at the time.

Before striking the building, the Buick Century, driven by Paul Belcik, 85, hit a Ford Taurus that was parked outside. The passenger in that car, Christopher Franklin, 50, of Victoria, was taken to DeTar Hospital Navarro, said Officer Zac DeLaRosa, of the Victoria Police Department.

Belcik was backing out of his driveway when he said his accelerator stuck, and he backed across Polk Street, hitting the car and entering the building.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, DeLaRosa said.

Belcik refused treatment at the scene, said Victoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Roger Hempel.

Firefighters cut the tin away from the wall where the car ran through, and Allan's Wrecker Service was able to use a tow cable to pull out the car.

The building sustained a moderate amount of structural damage but is repairable, Hempel said. The exercise equipment sustained about $2,500 worth of damage.

Cimon Almaguer rents the building and said the gym has been there for 17 years. As of Thursday night, the hole was temporarily patched, and the 24-hour gym was open for business as usual, he said.

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