Rear-ended car with dad, kids crashes into building

A car carrying a father and his two A car carrying a father and his two young children careened out of control after being struck from behind and crashed into an office in Hauppauge -- smashing into the desk of the president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 25. (Nov. 20, 2012) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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A car carrying a father and his two young children careened out of control Tuesday morning after being struck from behind and crashed into an office in Hauppauge -- smashing into the desk of the president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 25.

The president, Michael O'Grady, happened to be out of the office at the time.

The driver and his two children, ages 1 and 4, were uninjured, Suffolk County police said. An employee in an adjacent office, that of IBEW financial secretary Greg Walsh, suffered what police called "minor lacerations" when the force of the impact knocked him into his desk.

"Thank God nobody was seriously hurt," IBEW business manager Kevin Harvey told Newsday about an hour after the accident, which occurred at 9:12 a.m. "It was very close for comfort," he said. "Thank God it wasn't somebody's day."

Police said the car was eastbound on Vanderbilt Motor Parkway when it was struck from behind by another vehicle. The car with the father and young kids inside then went out-of-control, crossed the road, jumped a curb -- and crashed through the floor-to-ceiling window of the office building, ending up inside the office, police said.

Police did not provide additional information about the other vehicle involved.

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The Town of Smithtown fire marshal inspected the scene, but police said it was determined that there was no structural damage to the building.

Harvey said O'Grady, the IBEW local's president, would normally have been in his office at the time of the crash -- but said he was attending to business outside the office. The car crashed into O'Grady's desk and chair.

Harvey said he and other employees heard the crash, ran into the office and found the stunned driver and his children in the car. "We pulled them out of their car seats," Harvey said of the children. "They weren't even crying."

The local has about 1,900 members, Harvey said, who handle residential electrical work in both counties. They've been especially busy in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

"There's been a lot going on the last month," Harvey said, adding: "I thought it was a very lucky day for everybody. It could have been much worse."

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