Scranton Garage Forced to Close After Crash

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SCRANTON -- People who were in a Scranton garage when a stolen vehicle came smashing right through it are recovering from injuries and a financial blow.

Three teenagers not even old enough to drive are responsible for taking the car on a joyride Monday before they crashed into the service station on Vine Street in Scranton.

The owner of the Vine Street Service Station in Scranton's Hill Section said his garage is destroyed. A work crew was working Tuesday to remove the damaged cars and shore-up the crumbling garage. But, the owner said it will have to be torn down. It will put him out of business, potentially, for months.

Scranton Police said a stolen car full of teenagers barreled into the garage going backwards. The car was wedged between the ground and another car on the lift.

Talk about luck. Tom Charles' bad luck you might say. He owns the Vine Street Service Station. But, he actually says he is lucky because no one was killed, and his garage didn't collapse.

"Plus, the kids themselves. You had to see it before it was shored up. Those kids could have very easily been killed if that building came down," Charles said.

Once the wreckage was removed, Charles said they found the whole garage had shifted and wasn't safe. Crews put in temporary supports but the garage will be torn down.

"It was pandemonium, because no one knew why this car was there, how it got there, and plus he was on the ground. He couldn't get up for a while," added Charles.

"He" is Frank Smith who was working in the garage Monday evening. Smith said seconds after he got the car he was working on up on the lift, the car full of kids came through the garage door. It hit him and knocked him to the ground.

"I didn't know what happened. I thought the car was falling off the lift by the noise of it. And then all I know I was on the ground. That's it," Smith said.

Smith said while he was laying on the ground, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the teenaged driver get out of the stolen car and run. The three juveniles in the car were arrested a few blocks away.

Smith said he hopes they see what they did. Not just a big hole in a building, but a big consequence too.

"They put us out of business now," he said.

Scranton Police charged the three juveniles in the car. The two passengers are charged with receiving stolen property. The driver is also charged with reckless endangerment. Police are also questioning a fourth teen who may have been involved.