Car slams into NC Museum of History in downtown Raleigh

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Two cars were involved in a crash and one of those cars ended up plowing into the North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh on Friday morning, according to police.

A car slammed into the North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh Friday morning (Lauren Haviland/CBS North Carolina)

The crash occurred around 6 a.m. at the intersection of E. Edenton Street and N. Wilmington Street and one person was injured and transported to Wake Med, officials said.

According to police, a Duke Energy crew was working down the street on a transformer and the traffic lights at the intersection were out and that’s what officials say caused the crash.

A spokesman for the company confirmed the grid supplying power to the area was off.

“We had some crews that were working in the downtown area to upgrade some equipment that services a stop light there in downtown,” Duke Energy’s Jeff Brooks detailed . “It was about 30 to 45 minutes that it was out.”

The scene was cleared around 7:20 a.m. and traffic is now moving freely.MOBILE USERS CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDESHOW OF THE CRASH

It’s unclear if any charges will be filed at this time.

Meanwhile, CBS North Carolina is getting answers about how Duke Energy’s can prevent incidents like this.

Brooks explained, “We look at each situation uniquely. Obviously, our first concern is the safety of our crews and the safety of the public. In some instances, we may actually call in law enforcement to block off an area. Our trucks certainly have safety lights flashing and when people do see utility trucks working they should move over or slow down.”

But in this case, the crews and their trucks were about a block away from where the accident happened and police were not called to direct traffic.

“Sometimes we use police and sometimes we don’t. It really depends on the individual work site,” Brooks said.

“The crews did set up that work zone and in this particular instance, they did not elect to contact police. They were able to manage, as they thought, that particular area on their own. We’ll be looking into that as part of our investigation into the event, certainly.”

Thom Swindell, administration section chief at the North Carolina Museum of History sent a statement via email to CBS North Carolina about the incident:

“As a result of a two car accident at the intersection of North Wilmington St. and N Edenton St., 6:00 am this morning, one car hit the Wilmington Str. Side of the Museum. There was no structural damage to the Museum, only two broken granite veneer panels, one 3’ x 4’ and the other 4’ X 5’ where the car struck the building. The North Carolina Dept. of Administration, the owner of the building will coordinate the repairs to the veneer.”

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