Unknown vehicle crashes into church

Published 7:13 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Some time Monday night, an unknown vehicle veered from its course in the Ozona community and crashed into the First Baptist Church of Ozona.

“We have no idea whether is was a freak accident or intentional,” said Pastor R.T. Buckley.

Currently, the Sheriff’s Department and the church’s insurance agency are investigating the incident, Buckley said. Hopefully, the church will receive help from the insurance agency for repairs, since church members had begun renovations on the building before the incident occurred, Buckley said.

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Buckley asks if anyone that has information pertaining to the incident to call the Sheriff’s Department. The pastor said he hopes that the person involved in the incident will come forward.

“If it was an accident, we are eager to work with them to come to a resolution,” Buckley said. “If it was an accident, we are concerned about the person involved in the accident and hope they are okay.”

Hopefully damage incurred to the church would leave tell tale signs of damage on the vehicle so investigators can locate the vehicle involved, he said.

“I doubt the vehicle would not have sustained damage,” Buckley said.

To the church’s knowledge, they have done nothing to warrant such an attack, if it was one, which Buckley doubts. If it was an attack, Buckley said he is not sure how to approach it.

Damage to the building involved about a 10-foot section of the brick wall that was compromised by a large vehicle such as a truck, Buckley said. Two windows were dislocated and the interior wall was pushed to within eight inches of the pews, he said. Buckley said he expects to have to have about 20 feet of sheet rock replaced and the two windows. Other structural damage will also be looked for, he said.

Before the incident, the church had plans to relocate to a six-acre plot of land not too far from their present location, Buckley said. However, it may be a year or more before those plans can be completed so he said church members will repair the church and hold services as usual, on Wednesday evening and on Sunday.

The way the church was struck seemed odd. The vehicle would have had to jump a concrete parking indicator to hit the wall of the church.

“It seemed like he came straight on to the building, that’s a little curious to me,” Buckley said.

He speculates that the path the driver took is too straight for an intoxicated driver.