A Westminster man was rescued uninjured after his car crashed through a fence Friday morning and was suspended over a retaining wall for about two hours.
Earle Conrad Hawk, 85, was driving a 1987 Ford Crown Victoria when he accelerated forward through the parking space behind Phyllis Green Professional Building on Washington Road in Westminster around 11 a.m., according to emergency personnel.
Kevin Dayhoff, a spokesperson for the Westminster fire company, said responders found a vehicle that had crashed though a fence and was suspended over a high retaining wall.
A news release from Maryland State Police stated a preliminary investigation revealed the driver’s acceleration through the parking space was due to driver error.
“When the vehicle accelerated forward, it struck a fence and drove off the top of a retaining wall,” the release stated. “The front of the vehicle was supported by a small tree while the back of the vehicle hung off the top of the retaining wall. Due to the elevation, the driver was unable to safely exit his vehicle and a subsequent rescue effort ensued.”
The technical rescue team had to use a crane truck to pick the car up and bring back to the pavement, according to Sgt. Jeffrey Shipley of the Maryland State Police.
“It turned out to be a lot more than what people would probably think,” Shipley said. “They didn’t want to mess with the car because it would’ve shifted and could’ve fallen.”
About 25 personnel from the Westminster, Gamber, Reese, Pleasant Valley, New Windsor and Hampstead fire companies as well as the Carroll County Advanced Technical Rescue Team and the Lutherville fire company from Baltimore County were able to retrieve the car from the ledge in about two hours.
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The driver of the car was extricated at 1:04 p.m., evaluated by EMS personnel from the Westminster fire company, determined to be uninjured and released on the scene. Emergency responders cleared the scene by 1:30.