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Driver stuck in midair after car rams California clinic

Jody Taylor / Sixty5Media

The 70-year-old driver, who wasn't identified, was suspended for about 40 minutes in his car, which was stuck in the side of a children's clinic Wednesday, Feb. 6, near San Diego.

Published 6:50 p.m. ET: A driver trying to retrieve a ticket from a toll booth hit the gas and rammed into a California children's clinic Wednesday, leaving him and his car bizarrely hovering 20 feet over a stairwell impaled into the side of the building.

The 70-year-old driver, who wasn't identified, was pulled out through a passenger door about 40 minutes after the crash, which occurred in Sierra Mesa about 9:45 a.m. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation, authorities told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Witnesses told NBC 7 of San Diego that the driver was having trouble pulling a ticket from a toll booth several yards away when he began rolling backward in neutral. He then hit the gas, jumped a curb and speeded at about 30 mph into the side of a clinic run by Rady Children's Hospital.

More details and photos from NBC San Diego: Car crashes into building, traps driver

The car, a Toyota Camry, stuck there, its back end resting on a walkway and its front left wheel on a ledge. It was about a 20-foot drop to the stairwell below, firefighters told the Union-Tribune.

Bystanders said they had to dive out of the way to avoid getting hit. No one was injured. 

"I would've been right in front of his car," said Jody Taylor of Sixty5 Media, who took several photographs at the extraordinary scene. "So he flew through — almost hit a van pulling out ... and then went right into the building." 

Taylor told NBC 7 that she yelled at the driver, who had started to unbuckle his safety belt, to stay in the car.

"You could see the glass in the windows below cracking," Taylor said. "So the security guard, I looked at him and I said, 'Get everyone out of that building, 'cause you don't know what's going to happen.'

"Six inches more, and he would've gone straight down or through the window, because they said that's an exam room right there." 

No one was in exam room at the time, hospital officials said. The man's car was removed about 1 p.m.

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