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Beverly: Stephen Hardy pulled out his guitar before his car is towed away after it crashed into a house at 36 Essex St.

BEVERLY — All three occupants of an SUV had minor injuries yesterday afternoon after their vehicle crashed into an apartment building on the corner of Essex and Dane streets.

The building was damaged, but no one inside was hurt.

According to passenger Stephen Hardy, 25, his girlfriend of three days was driving his recently purchased 1996 Mercury Mountaineer at the time of the accident. "(She) was not used to the car; she took the turn too wide," he said.

They were traveling south on Essex Street, making a right turn onto Dane Street, at about 5:30 p.m., Hardy said, when he realized they were turning too wide and about to hit an oncoming car.

"I grabbed the wheel," said Hardy, swerving out of the opposite lane and into the building at 36 Essex St. Hardy said the vehicle was only going 15 to 20 miles an hour at the time of impact, which was still severe enough to deploy the airbags.

There was significant damage to the building. According to Beverly Patrolman Jason Lantych, "The whole kitchen of the house was moved forward."

Firefighters shut off the gas to the building and electricity in the area until the damage could be inspected by the building inspector and National Grid.

The driver and the passenger in the back seat of the SUV were conscious and alert when emergency personnel arrived. They were taken to Beverly Hospital.

Hardy refused treatment for a cut on his neck. He said the damage to his vehicle was especially difficult because he was living in the SUV.

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