Driver crashes into Blaine Library for second time

By Stefanie Donahue

Shelves packed with oversized books came tumbling down at the Blaine Library last week after a driver struck the building.

Behind the wheel was 93-year-old June Belonis, who on October 31 mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes and drove her 2007 Honda Accord into the northeast corner of the building, said Blaine Police Department lieutenant Ryan King.

Neither Belonis or anyone in the building was seriously injured.

“It did put a nice hole in the corner,” said Blaine Library branch manager Debby Farmer. “The books all came crashing down.”

Farmer said plywood has since been placed over the opening.

“We are coordinating with the driver’s insurance company,” said city manager Michael Jones in an email. The city of Blaine owns the building, which is located at 610 3rd Street. “We do not have a schedule of repair at this time. While the damage is clearly a problem, it is not significantly impacting the library’s operations,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Belonis has driven into the Blaine Library, King said. In August of 2014, she mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes and crashed into the same northeast corner of the building.

This time around, Blaine police referred Belonis to the Washington State Department of Licensing, which will re-evaluate her ability to drive.

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