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Car crashes through Florida church wall during Easter service

By Joe Sutton, CNN
updated 8:07 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nearly 200 people were attending services
  • Driver told police her brakes failed
  • Parishioners used vehicle jacks and brute force to lift the car
  • Police are treating it as an accident

(CNN) -- A car crashed through the walls of a Fort Myers, Florida, church during Easter Service, injuring close to two dozen people, police said.

Nearly 200 people were attending services at the Second Haitian Baptist Church on Sunday when the Lexus plowed into the building, police said.

The driver of the car told police her brakes failed as she entered the church parking lot.

Parishioners used vehicle jacks and brute force to lift the car to get to those trapped underneath, police said.

"We freak(ed) out," church-goer Nicholas Plancher told CNN affiliate WINK. "Then we start pulling people under the car. Some of them -- some of them were hurt pretty bad. So we hade to do what we had to do to take care of them."

Police Lt. Victor Medico said authorities were treating the incident as a "very unfortunate accident rather than a criminal act."

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