Car Crashes into Ocala Church, Driver Flees After Starting Fire
An individual is under arrest in Marion County after being involved in a surprisingly aggressive incident that included a car crash and a fire while mass was about to begin at a church located within Ocala. What we know at the time of this writing comes from reports from deputies working within the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. These reports indicated that the event in question began at sometime close to 7:30 in the morning, as parishioners with the Queen of Peace Catholic Church within the City of Ocala were entering the building in preparation for services.
As they were settling into the pews, the occupants of the house of worship were startled by a loud noise from the entryway. When they rose from their seats to look, they saw that a minivan was poking into the church after having burst through the heavy wooden doors. As they watched, the driver of this car opened the door to the vehicle and lobbed an explosive device of some sort into the foyer where it erupted into flames.
After throwing the fire bomb, the driver of the minivan closed the door and reversed out of the building’s entrance. It is not clear if they were injured in the crash, but the accounts do indicate that the car was fully able to drive after crashing through the building.
While the driver fled the scene, members of the church worked to put out the flames. Their quick work ensured that none within the building were injured by the blaze, but it is believed that significant damage was done to the building as a result of both the collision with the car and the subsequent fire.
While no one within the building is believed to have been injured as a result of the fire or the car crash, it is too early to say whether or not any residual damage was done to the structure at the time of the crash.
Regarding the driver of the minivan, police and deputies were quickly notified regarding the event and were thus on the lookout throughout the county as this individual attempted to escape. The scrutiny on the part of the authorities ensured that the perpetrator of the crash and fire was apprehended shortly after the incident took place. They are now in police custody and awaiting charges while the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms assists local authorities with an investigation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.