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Hospital's Emergency Department back to normal after car hits hospital wall


WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAU) -- A vehicle crashed into the south wall at Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids Saturday afternoon. Wisconsin Rapids police say the 29-year-old driver of the SUV had a medical emergency of his own, and went unconscious while eastbound on Riverview Expressway.

Nan Taylor is the Director of Business Development and Community Relations for Riverview Hospital. She says incident happened at 1:40 p.m. “A vehicle crossed over Riverview Expressway and struck the side of Riverview Medical Center’s Emergency Department, damaging the building.”

Taylor says the hospital has drills for various alert levels ranging from Level One for storm watches to Level Four when operations or the integrity of the building are compromised. She says they went right to Level Four when the crash occurred.

The crash ruptured a water line, damaged a hallway and waiting room, but did not break through into an examination room. “It hit, actually, in a hallway between the exam rooms, so the exam rooms themselves were not damaged.”

Taylor says the driver of the car was treated by staff and transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield with non-life threatening injuries. The debris left others injured as well. “There were four people who received minor injuries. One was a staff member and three were visitors. They received the injuries from falling debris from the incident itself.”

Some operations were limited until initial clean up, water line repairs, and building inspections were completed. Taylor says they quickly had teams in place to clean up and evaluate the damage. “We have had local service vendors in, we’ve had plumbing in, we had a local construction company in, and we also have our own construction supervisor, so they are really evaluating the situation.”

The hospital functioned normally outside of the Emergency Department without interruption. The Emergency Department resumed normal operations just before 9:00 p.m.