Truck slams into Mini Cooper during emissions test

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Paul Sweeney was getting a routine emissions test when he heard a loud 'boom.' (Source: ADEQ) Paul Sweeney was getting a routine emissions test when he heard a loud 'boom.' (Source: ADEQ)
SURPRISE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Surveillance video shows a big truck slamming into a yellow Mini Cooper causing it to roll out of the bay where it was undergoing an emissions test.

It happened on Tuesday, March 20 around 1:30 p.m. at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality emissions testing facility near Bell Road and Grand Avenue in Surprise.

It left the Mini Cooper's owner, 70-year-old Paul Sweeney of Surprise, wondering what happened?

Sweeney was getting a routine emissions test when he heard a loud "boom."

Sweeney said he was about five feet away. "It sure scared me."

“It shook everybody up and I said all of a sudden… where’s my car? I look forward and it was going out the door," he added.

He wanted to know if there was some sort of equipment failure.

According to ADEQ spokesperson Erin Jordan, the cause of the crash was human error.

[RAW VIDEO: Standard emissions test goes awry for inspector]

“The driver exited and an inspector entered to reposition the vehicle for testing. The inspector accidentally accelerated and hit the vehicle in front,” said Jordan. ADEQ hires contractors to do the testing.

Luckily nobody was in the Mini Cooper and nobody was hurt.

“If anyone would’ve been outside the building, it would’ve killed them; anyone between the cars would’ve been dead,” said Sweeney.

He shared his story with the hope that it'll push ADEQ to figure out what went wrong and put measures in place to prevent it from happening again.

“The inspector involved was immediately sent through driver training again,” Jordan wrote in an e-mail.

Also, customers will have to be in a "safety booth" or "seated behind a physical barrier" and "inspectors will honk the horn prior to vehicles being put into drive" to help keep all lanes clear.

ADEQ has launched a full safety investigation with the contractor that runs the facilities.

Approximately 1.7 million vehicles pass through the emission facilities each year.

"Since 2010, the contractor has tested 13 million vehicles," said Jordan. "There have been four similar incidents involving contractor employees. No one has been hurt in these other incidents."


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