Pickup crash leaves gaping hole in side of historic former church

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A historic church-turned-music center in Duluth was badly damaged Thursday afternoon when a pickup crashed into the side of the building.

The pickup "lost its brakes" on Second Avenue West and Fourth Street, Northland's NewsCenter reports, crashing into the Sacred Heart Music Center.

Images of the crash were posted on

">Twitter by Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, who commented: "Good brakes in Duluth are a must."

Northland's NewsCenter reported officials found a new set of brake pads lying on the passenger seat of the crashed pickup.

The Duluth News Tribune reports music center leaders are now assessing the damage done to the building, with the pickup remaining embedded for several hours after the crash. It was removed and the building was boarded up Thursday evening.

A stained glass window was among the "priceless" elements destroyed, the newspaper notes.

The driver, 31-year-old Kevin Humphrey, told the newspaper his "brakes went completely out," saying he had to swerve to avoid traffic. He was cited by police for driving without a valid license and an equipment violation.

The building opened as a cathedral in 1896, according to the music center's website, and is known for its distinctive, neo-Gothic triple spires.

The music center now provides classes and community outreach for at-risk children in the area, as well as being a popular venue for weddings and other events, and a teaching space for local schools and community groups.

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