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Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 05/11/2010

Hirshhorn Museum reopens

By Washington Post editors

The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum reopened Tuesday after a delivery truck broke through a barrier and crashed into the building.

It was an incident on the Mall with little, if any, recent precedent. The truck shattered a plate-glass window that forms part of the outer wall of the museum's lobby after the driver had what authorities said was a "medical emergency."

The driver was hospitalized with serious injuries. The museum had closed to the public three hours before the 8:30 p.m. crash, and no one else was reported to have been hurt.

Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the D.C. fire and emergency services department, said the vehicle was a UPS truck. Authorities said it apparently was loaded with packages when it swerved onto the sidewalk.

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Outside the building, according to officials' accounts, the truck ran through the low concrete structures that serve as flower pots and provide protection.

Linda St. Thomas, spokeswoman for the Smithsonian Institution, of which the circular-shaped museum is part, said the truck came about one foot into the building.

She said it appeared that the concrete barrier slowed the truck.

-- Marty Weil

By Washington Post editors  | May 11, 2010; 12:35 PM ET
Tags:  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Mall, United Parcel Service  
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