By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — SALEM — Police responded to the scene of two vehicle-versus-building accidents in two communities within about an hour yesterday.
The first accident occurred in Salem about 5:15 p.m., when a man accidentally accelerated into 4 E. Collins St. as he tried to put his vehicle in park, according to radio reports and an interview with Lt. Mary Butler. The man had pulled over to answer his cellphone.
Although the man stayed on scene following the accident, his passenger fled on foot down Planters Street. Officers were unable to locate him.
The driver was not injured and the house sustained only minor damage to shingles near its base.
The second accident happened in Beverly about 6:15 p.m., when a vehicle drove into a laundry room on the 1000 block of Broughton Drive, apparently because its driver had hit the gas instead of the brake as the car pulled into a parking spot, said a firefighter.
The nose of the vehicle punched through a window, but the damage was only cosmetic and the building’s structural integrity was not jeopardized, he said.
National Grid shut off the building’s gas after the accident.
Another car-versus-building accident was reported in Marblehead on Wednesday.
Police received a 10:52 a.m. report that somebody had driven a 2006 GMC into an unidentified business on Bessom Street. There were no injuries.
“Call came in from the merchant who said that a car had just driven into the building,” wrote police. “Said the occupant is someone who frequents the shop but caller does not know them by name.”
No damage was noted, aside from a broken window and window frame.
“Parties will work out restitution,” wrote police.