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Crash of truck into animal shelter injures driver; no charges filed

A pickup truck slammed into the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter on Saturday, injuring its driver and demolishing the office of the shelter director.

The accident happened at about 4:10 p.m., when the pickup truck veered off the Oak Street exit ramp of the westbound Kensington Expressway. Crossing a grassy slope, the truck uprooted a small tree before continuing across Oak Street.

The truck then plowed through decorative metal fencing in front of the shelter and punctured the concrete block building at 380 Oak St., coming to rest just feet away from an exterior gas meter.

Police at the scene said the driver suffered multiple traumas and appeared to be in "rough shape."

Saturday night, the victim was identified as Amos Smith, 47, of Buffalo. He was in serious condition in Erie County Medical Center.

Michael J. DeGeorge, a spokesman for the Buffalo Police Department, said no charges were filed against Smith.

DeGeorge said he was unaware whether Smith suffered a medical condition that led to the crash, and he didn't know the speed at which Smith was traveling.

A damage estimate on the animal shelter was unavailable, DeGeorge said.

The front end of the extended cab pickup truck sustained extensive damage. Pieces of the vehicle were strewn from the point where the fencing was knocked down to the southernmost part of the property.

Inside the building, the office of director Kelly McCartney took the brunt of the impact. The room was unoccupied at the time of the crash, and no animals in the shelter were affected.

Chunks of the concrete block exterior wall were blown into the room, upending furniture and office equipment. Two interior walls also sustained damage, and ceiling tiles were knocked askew.

McCartney arrived at the shelter as an officer from the Accident Investigation Unit was photographing the interior. Upon seeing the damage, McCartney gasped and put a hand over her mouth.

"I hope this guy's OK," she said, referring to the driver.

McCartney was visibly shaken at the degree of destruction.

"I'm sorry I'm crying," she said as several people milled about. "I cannot believe this."


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