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Taxi driver hits building in downtown Winslow with van

A firefighter with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department spreads absorbent material along Winslow Way after a taxi van hit the outside of the San Juan Building in Winslow Monday. - Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review
A firefighter with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department spreads absorbent material along Winslow Way after a taxi van hit the outside of the San Juan Building in Winslow Monday.
— image credit: Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review

The driver of a Taxis & Tours van lost control of her vehicle while leaving the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal and struck the outside of the San Juan Building on Winslow Way.

The crash happened just before 9:30 a.m. Monday. The driver of the Ford van was the only person who appeared hurt in the accident; bystanders said there were no passengers in the van when it struck the three-story building at 900 Winslow Way.

The driver was leaving the ferry terminal parking lot when bystanders said she drove across the sidewalk on the south side of Winslow Way, knocked down a chain line fence near the corner of the parking lot, then sheared off the stop sign on the other side of the street before hitting a concrete planter at the southwest corner of the building. The stop sign was pinned between the van and the building, and the street sign was also cut in half, and the street signs for Winslow Way and Ferncliff Avenue landed on the hood of the vehicle.

"Fortunately, she hit the part of my building that's cement," said John Ellis, one of the owners of the San Juan Building.

Ellis was inside the building at the time of the crash, but was told by a fellow employee about the accident just after it happened.

"I didn't hear a thing," he said.

Ellis said he was glad no one was in the crosswalk next to the ferry parking lot when the accident occurred.

Firefighters from the Bainbridge Island Fire Department responded to the scene, along with two units from the Bainbridge Island Police Department.

One lane of Ferncliff Avenue was closed while emergency responders were at the scene waiting for a tow truck.

Traffic was light at the intersection, and a Bainbridge officer directed cars around the crash scene, which drew much interest from onlookers.

"I hope the meter isn't still running," quipped one passerby.

The van sustained significant damage to the front end of the vehicle. Attempts to restart the vehicle to move it were unsuccessful.

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