Bend Pilates studio crash could have been worse

Natural gas line missed; victims recovering; driver, 71, not cited

Crash recovery at Bend Pilates studio

BEND, Ore. - One day after a car crashed into a Pilates studio at NorthWest Crossing in Bend, clean-up efforts were under way amid a sign of support - literally: A poster with the message: "We love Peach Pilates" on the boarded-up window.

It's a sign that the community is coming together in support of the business after a frightening accident that all agree could have been much worse.

"The gas main is right here within several feet of where the car entered the building," said Scott Steele, owner of Steele Associate Architects, who designed and owns the building.

The accident was a close call for everyone in the building at the time of the crash.

"I heard a loud noise, but it sounded like it was outside the building, so I immediately went out," Steele said Tuesday.

What he saw was a car inside the Pilates studio below his office.

According to police, a 71-year-old woman had mistaken the gas for the brake pedal when she was in the roundabout.

"We take every situation into consideration. This is a very clear-cut case of at fault," said police Sgt Clint Burleigh.

But the driver was not cited, because police said neither speed, alcohol nor distracted driving were a factor.

"You can't look at every situation with a blueprint. You have to look at each situation differently," Burleigh said. "At this point, as the investigation is continued on, we don't have a situation were we are going to issue a citation any time soon."

NewsChannel 21 was told that those injured in the crash are recovering well.

"Unfortunate there was an accident -- fortunate that it wasn't worse," said Steele.

And this was not the first time this same building was hit by a car.

In September 2008, a car crashed through the wall on the other end of the building.

"The other accident was a straight street to the south of our building, and the driver had to actually cross a 15-foot-wide planted median with boulders," Steele said.


As for Peach Pilates, they are hoping to be up and running again soon. No structural damage was done to the building.


The owners of Peach Pilates tell NewsChannel 21, they will be back. The studio might be closed for around a month, but they are hoping to offer classes again as early as next week in another room in the building.

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