WATCH: Car Plows Into Church Building During Easter Services in Florida; 21 People Injured

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.

A vehicle plowed into the Second Hatian Baptist Church on Central Avenue in Fort Myers on Sunday 4/20/2014. 21 people were injured, some seriously. (Photo: Andrew West/news-press.com)
A vehicle plowed into the Second Hatian Baptist Church on Central Avenue in Fort Myers on Sunday 4/20/2014. 21 people were injured, some seriously. (Photo: Andrew West/news-press.com)

“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.”

“Everybody was sitting and the service started and then ‘BING’ the car came in,” said Jean Corjeles, who was in the church when the crash happened.

“So many people are injured,” he said.

Second Haitian Baptist Church leaders check on injured members outside the church Sunday in Fort Myers.  (Photo: Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com)
Second Haitian Baptist Church leaders check on injured members outside the church Sunday in Fort Myers. (Photo: Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com)

Medico said the driver, a young woman, told investigators she was looking for a parking spot when the car malfunctioned and it drove “straight into the building,” adding that she said the car’s brakes malfunctioned.

Even though the car drove through an exterior wall and into the building, the structure isn’t in danger of collapsing, said both Medico and Benjamin Abes, Lee County’s EMS operations chief.

Lee Memorial health System spokeswoman Mary Biggs said 18 people were taken to Lee County hospitals and one was discharged late Sunday. She said none required surgery.

Medical personnel transport an injured woman to an ambulance after a car struck the Second Haitian Baptist Church in Fort Myers on Sunday.  (Photo: Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com)
Medical personnel transport an injured woman to an ambulance after a car struck the Second Haitian Baptist Church in Fort Myers on Sunday. (Photo: Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com)

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Information from: The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press, http://www.news-press.com

SOURCE: The Associated Press

Click here to view more photos from the scene.