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Queens Chronicle

Driver crashes van into office building

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Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 5:01 pm | Updated: 5:50 pm, Mon Mar 4, 2013.

A driver attempting to flee the scene of an accident slammed into an office building.

Last Sunday, Steven Rodriguez of Brooklyn lost control of a 1998 Toyota minivan while traveling westbound on Myrtle Avenue, and crashed into the first floor of a three-story unoccupied building at 78-80 82 St. in Glendale, causing a small fire. 

Police responded to a 911 call of the accident at 1:17 p.m. and found the Toyota jutting out of the brick building. A small fire had ignited from the vehicle and the Fire Department was called. 

The FDNY arrived at 1:20 p.m. to extinguish the fire, which extended to an office on the first floor of the building.

According to the FDNY, the fire was under control by 1:53 p.m. and there was one minor injury resulting from the blaze. No medical transport was needed.

The building that was torn through is the Queens headquarters for the Child Care Network of New York, a nonprofit corporation that works on all child care-related issues for city families, children and child care professionals. 

The employees of the corporation have not returned to the building due to safety reasons and will be using email to communicate with their clients. 

Further investigation revealed that Rodriguez fled the scene of a previous vehicle accident in the vicinity of Woodhaven Boulevard  and Union Turnpike, the police said. 

Minor injuries from the initial car accident were reported and Rodriguez was subsequently taken into custody by officers of the 104th Precinct. 

He has been formally charged with reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident involving an injury and reckless driving.

The causes of both accidents are still unknown, though there is an ongoing investigation. 

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