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Sarasota County emergency personnel begin picking through the rubble after a car crashed through the front of a south Sarasota business last Thursday.
Sarasota Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017 2 years ago

Car crashes into Sarasota gym

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The owners of Personalized Fitness & Massage Center estimate about $40,000 in damage to their South Tamiami Trail business.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Last Thursday, local gym owner Al Heinemann went home for lunch rather than work the front desk at Personalized Fitness & Massage Center.

On his way back to the South Tamiami Trail business, he decided to stop and put air in his tires. At around the same time, a dark blue Porsche Boxster driven by a 77-year-old client plowed through the front of the gym and into the empty desk.

“He could have been killed,” said his wife and co-owner Janalee Heinemann. “The first thing (firefighters) did when they got there is start looking under the car for bodies.”

Personalized Fitness & Massage Center before the accident.
Personalized Fitness & Massage Center before the accident.

Instead, the couple spent the next three hours picking through the rubble of cinder blocks and paperwork trying to begin organizing 22 years worth of clients’ files. Al Heinemann spent another six hours the following day doing the same, estimating about $40,000 of damage to the building and interior.

“That’s a lot to try to sort through,” said Janalee Heinemann.

The couple is waiting on an insurance assessment, but are relieved that no one was injured in the crash. 

The fitness area is still in tact, so Personalized Fitness has remained open.

“The most popular comment when people see it is that it looks like we’re starting the area’s first drive-thru gym,” said Al Heinemann.

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