BISBEE – The driver of a SUV that smashed through a county building housing the civil division of the Cochise County Attorney’s Office will not face criminal charges, according to the Bisbee Police Department.
Bisbee police Sgt. William Silva said the Feb. 28 accident that resulted in severe structural damage to the building was caused by “distracted parking” after the driver inadvertently put her SUV into reverse on a steep hill as a passenger was exiting the vehicle.
The SUV’s right front door struck the passenger, knocking her to the ground. The driver “then panicked,” Silva said, causing her to lose control of the vehicle before it came to rest inside the breakroom of the county building at the bottom of the hill.
The sergeant completed the accident report last week. He noted there was no indication of intoxication or recklessness on the part of the driver, and that all county employees were safely evacuated from the building located behind the Cochise County Superior Courthouse on Quality Hill.
The driver and passenger work together at a non-profit business located near the county building. Although shocked by the incident, neither woman was seriously injured. At least one employee’s vehicle suffered about $5,000 in body damage.
County spokeswoman Amanda Baillie said the civil division has set up operations in another county building while repairs are made to the building. There is no estimate yet on when the staff will be able to move back into their regular offices.
The driver is not being named by the Herald/Review because she wasn’t cited for the incident.