Car lifted from perch above stairwell

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SAN DIEGO — Tow truck operators had to use their ingenuity Wednesday to safely remove a car that was hanging precariously over an outdoor stairway at a medical center in Serra Mesa.

The car jumped a sidewalk, crashed through a metal railing and smashed into the medical building at about 9:45 a.m. when the 70-year-old driver lost control.

The man was trying to get a parking voucher at a booth in front of the complex in the 7900 block of Frost Street about 9:45 a.m. when his late- model maroon Toyota Camry began rolling, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The man then apparently “got a little disoriented” and stepped on the accelerator, sending the sedan careening “like a rocket” through a gate arm, over a curb, through a metal guardrail and into a medical building, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

The car was left hanging over a set of concrete steps, wedged between the structure it rammed and a parking garage on the other side of the stairwell.

Emergency crews shored up the damaged car to make sure it was stable before removing the driver on a backboard. He was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital as a precaution and release to his daughter a short time later.

Meanwhile, a tow truck crew threaded a heavy-duty strap through the front windows of the Camry and lifted it off the ledge with the tow truck.

The managers of the complex closed the damaged medical building and brought in an engineer to assess the extent of damage sustained in the accident.

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