The Herald Bulletin

August 23, 2013

Car inexplicably drives into building, destroys optometry practice

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — The owner of a long-operating optometry practice is counting his blessings that he closes his office on Fridays.

The rear of the office in the 600 block of Nichol Avenue was destroyed by a car at about 5 p.m. on Friday. The silver Pontiac was inexplicably driven through the office wall in the back parking lot of the building, destroying the practice’s break room.

Anderson Police on the scene said nobody was in the heavily damaged car when they arrived, and there was no evidence anyone had been in the vehicle prior to impact. The Anderson Fire Department was also called out to the scene to turn off the natural gas line and eliminate the risk of fire or explosion. A representative from the building commissioner’s office also came to the scene to ensure removing the vehicle from the damaged building wouldn’t cause any serious damage.

Dr. James Seal, who has worked out of the location for more than 40 years and was planning to retire Thursday, said he’s glad nobody was in the one-story building. The doctor had only three appointments left before he moved to Florida to begin his retirement. He said he doesn’t think it was someone trying to target his practice.

Office manager Karla Studebaker agreed.

“Everyone loves him. I can’t think of any reason why someone would do this,” Studebaker said.

Adjacent to Seal’s practice in the same building is Toles Flowers store. Manager Phommaly Dayong arrived shortly after the incident to inspect the neighboring business. She said the florist shop received no damage.

Several onlookers said they heard the sirens, but nobody saw what happened or could offer an explanation.

Seal said he had no plans for the office after he retires and doesn’t know what will happen to the lot after he leaves.

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