A car speeding through the city of Lod in central Israel early Monday morning smashed into the exterior wall of a synagogue courtyard, smashing off the front gate.

The incident occurred at the entrance to the Dossa synagogue, when a car driving at high speed swerved into the wall, damaging it and knocking off the gate.

Witnesses say the collision occurred just minutes before the conclusion of morning prayers at the synagogue, emphasizing that had the incident occurred moments later, the area would have been full of worshippers leaving the synagogue.

“We were finishing the Mussaf prayers to mark the new month, when right at the very end of the prayer service we heard a loud noise from the gate,” one of the worshippers told Israel National News.

“At first we thought that sometimes people slam the gate, but this was so abnormally loud. When we went out, we saw that part of the gate had been torn off, pulled out and bent. We immediately notified the city authorities and they opened an investigation, and police arrived.”

“I don’t know who the driver was or what his story is, but this was exactly at the end of the prayer service, and if it had happened just seconds later, it would have all looked very different. It is hard to imagine what would happen if someone was standing there.”

Police say the incident does not appear to be nationalistically-motivated, saying that the driver has been identified as a drug user, and was intoxicated at the time of the collision.

Officers arrested the suspect shortly after the incident was reported.