Woman charged after SUV crashes into Towson government building

  • Crash at the Drumcastle Building. The crash remains under investigation.
Crash at the Drumcastle Building. The crash remains under investigation. (Handout photo courtesy…)
July 31, 2014|By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun

A 48-year-old woman was charged after she crashed an SUV into the Drumcastle government building in Towson on Thursday morning, Baltimore County police said.

Hiwot Arbi of the 900 block of Gladway Road in Middle River was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision, police said.

About 8:40 a.m., a black Toyota Rav4 traveling southbound at a high speed in a parking lot turned left and struck two unoccupied parked vehicles — one a gold Chevrolet Blazer — before hopping a curb, becoming airborne and crashing into the building, police said. Arbi, a female passenger in the SUV and a 45-year-old female county employee inside the building suffered minor injuries.

The employee, who works with social services, was transported to Sinai Hospital. The other two refused treatment.

Police said Arbi was attempting to park her vehicle before the crash.

Shawna Gepes, owner of the Blazer, said she was shocked after seeing the extensive damage to the front bumper of her vehicle. She was visiting the center to fill out forms for social services.

"Thank God I didn't have my kids with me," she said.

Workers at the building were evacuated immediately after the crash but were permitted to return to the building about 10:30 a.m. — soon after the SUV was pulled out.

Monique Lyle, a county spokeswoman who works in the building, said about 700 employees work at Drumcastle but most had not yet come in for the day.

"Some staff were already in the building," she said. "We are very grateful it wasn't packed yet."

Police said building inspectors reviewing the structure found only superficial damages.

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