A car broke through steel cables at the edge of a Mayo Clinic parking ramp Friday morning in Rochester, and the two occupants got out safely as the vehicle protruded eight levels above ground, authorities said.
The incident, which occurred about 8:40 a.m., appears to be the third time in the past five years that such an accident has occurred at this ramp.
“For some reason, I’m not sure yet, instead of slowing down to pull into the parking spot, it sped up and hit five high-tension cables,” said Assistant Fire Marshal Mike Bjoraker.
Two of the cables broke, and the other three “did the job,” said Bjoraker, who got a look for himself on the ramp’s eighth floor. “The front wheels had dropped over the edge. It couldn’t go any further.”
Neither person in the car was hurt, Bjoraker added, and the car has been pulled back from the precipice.
Tamara Rasmussen parked at the patient ramp Friday morning and saw the car’s front wheels over the edge. Rasmussen said there was another instance of a vehicle going partly beyond the edge within the past year or two.
“There are guard wires, and most of the floors have a cement wall at the height of the bumpers,” said Rasmussen, explaining what is in place to keep vehicles from ending up in precarious situations. “On this level, there are just wires.”
In June 2009, a woman was behind the wheel when her car ended up dangling over the edge of the ramp’s sixth level. The driver was not injured.
Mayo spokeswoman Rebecca Eisenman said she’s aware of the 2009 accident but has yet to verify one from the past year or two.
In any event, Eisenman added, “we have the utmost confidence in our structures.”
The ramp, at 15 3rd Av. SW., sits on the west edge of Mayo property and is bordered on the other side by St. John’s Catholic School.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482