AUSTIN – A woman is expected to be okay after her car went off the side of a downtown Austin parking garage and landed on another vehicle early Thursday morning.
Austin-Travis County EMS and Austin police say the woman's car went off the garage near Sixth Street and Brazos around 8:30 a.m. July 13. APD said the woman's BMW went through the retention wires on the seventh floor of the Littlefield parking garage and hit the building across the alley as it fell, rupturing a gas line. The woman's car landed on a Chevrolet Tahoe that was driving northbound in the alley between Fifth and Sixth Streets, and police added the driver of the Tahoe is okay.
The driver of that Tahoe is William Burch who was in the alley waiting on some coworkers.
“I was turning around in that little service delivery area. As I was backing out towards the dumpster, I heard something, because I had my window down,” said Burch. “I was talking to my mom on speaker on my phone, and I heard all these loud noises and bangs, and I remembered what had happened about 8 months ago. So I just immediately just put it in drive and started driving forward and as I started driving forward, the car landed on me.”
Police say the suspension wires are still attached to the vehicle and they did not catch the vehicle.
EMS said the driver was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center with potentially serious injuries, and police said she was alert and conscious as she EMS crews treated her. Police said it does not appear the driver was intoxicated, and they are still investigating the exact cause of the crash.
The Austin Fire Dept. controlled the gas line rupture, and there is no gas leak.
Viewers will remember that on Sept. 12, 2016, another vehicle went over the side of the same parking garage, but was suspended by a wire. That driver was able to get out safely.
GTT Parking released the following statement on the incident:
We regret the unfortunate accident that happened today in our garage and are thankful that no lives were lost.
A similar incident happened in September 2016 in the same garage, but on a different floor.
This morning, the car apparently hit the barriers at a rate of speed sufficient to break-through and hit the building across the alley.
The garage was built in 1979, and these are the only two such incidents since its construction 38 years ago.
After the previous incident, we engaged a structural engineer to review the situation, and repairs to the safety barriers were performed according to his recommendation. The City of Austin permitted and inspected such repairs to their satisfaction.Premier Parking, the manager of the parking garage, manages over 400 parking locations across the United States, and they have not experienced anything like this in their 15-year history other than the previous incident.