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Cops: SUV crashes into Copiague auto repair shop, driver flees

North Amityville firefighters and Suffolk County police respond

North Amityville firefighters and Suffolk County police respond to the scene in Copiague where a sport utility vehicle crashed into a Ralph Avenue auto repair shop Friday evening, April 29, 2016. The driver ran off, according to the business owner and police. Credit: Paul Mazza

A sport utility vehicle crashed into a Copiague auto repair shop Friday evening and the driver fled the scene on foot, the business owner and police said.

Suffolk police said officers were looking for the driver, whose vehicle slammed into 315 Ralph Avenue shortly before 6 p.m.

“I heard the alarm, and then my manager came in and said ‘Get out of the building because somebody hit the gas main,’ ” said the owner of New Security Collision, who asked not to be named. “Then we smelled all the gas.”

She said four workers were with her in the building. One employee saw the driver run off and attempted to give chase in his own vehicle, the owner said.

The crash damaged the gas pipes feeding into the business, but crews at the scene were expected to finish repairs by the end of the night, a National Grid spokeswoman said.

Police said no injuries were reported.

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