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Pickup slams into 106-year-old Huntington Beach church, injuring driver

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The Warren Avenue Baptist Church, located at 7360 Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach, was hit by a pickup truck on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The structure sits close to the street and has been hit by vehicles before, according to the church's pastor.

A Huntington Beach pastor got an unpleasant surprise this morning when a truck blew through a red light and slammed into his church, smashing a corner out of the 106-year-old building.

“I heard a loud, loud crash,” Pastor Steve Orman of Warner Avenue Baptist Church told KPCC. Running outside, Orman saw a pickup truck had jumped the curb and smashed into the building -- in fact, he said, it had dented a light post, hit the church’s brick steps, “took the whole corner right out” of the building, then flipped backwards and landed on the opposite steps, smashed up and with its airbag deployed.

“There were people trying to check on the driver. Witnesses said he went through the light at about 50 miles an hour.”

Orman said he “was in pretty bad shape,” noting that the Huntington Beach Fire Department “had to cut him out” of the wreck. Fire Capt. Jeff Lopez told the Associated Press that the driver suffered significant injuries and was taken to a local trauma center. No one else appears to have been hurt.

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