Thursday, November 27, 2014

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Car Slams Through Front Porch Of Bedford-Stuyvesant Home

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TWC News: Car Slams Through Front Porch Of Bedford-Stuyvesant Home
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Emergency workers were forced to evacuate several residents from a Bedford-Stuyvesant home Friday afternoon after an SUV crashed through its front porch.

Fire officials spent the better part of Friday afternoon carefully pulling and yanking and tugging a red SUV.

Their goal was to unlodge it from the front of a Bedford-Stuyvesant building without having it collapse.

Many gathered at Marion Street and Howard Avenue to watch the operation unfold.

Battalion Chief Michael Lee said that at around 2:30 p.m., the driver of the SUV lost control and somehow crashed into the building.

"It compromised some of the front of the building. You can see that," Lee said. "It hit a post down low, and it caused some of the brickwork in the front to sag."

The New York City Fire Department evacuated more than a dozen residents from the apartment building.

Keanu Williams, 17, lives on the lower level with his family. He said five other people live upstairs.

Williams said that he was playing video games at home along with his brother and sister when they heard and felt a big slam.

"At first, I thought we was going to die," he said. "I thought the building was going to collapse."

Williams said the trio had to climb out through the window because the door was blocked by the SUV. That's when they saw the driver.

"The man was sitting on the floor. He had cuts on him, and people was just standing around him," Williams said.

Police say the driver of the SUV was initially trying to give another motorist a boost in the vicinity of Broadway and Jefferson Avenue.

While the driver was trying to align his car to give the other motorist a boost, he allegedly hit another vehicle, according to police.

Police say the driver then tried to flee that incident but lost control, and that's when they say he struck the home at Howard Avenue and Marion Street.

"It was airborne for a minute," said Ryan Mohammad, a witness. "It just ran right into the house."

Mohammad said he saw two cars speeding down Marion Street right before the crash.

"This car hit another car, and that car was chasing this car," Mohammad said.

Sources tell NY1 that a vacate order was issued for the entire building as workers remove loose material and try to determine whether it's safe for residents to return.

The Red Cross says nine units were affected in the three-story home. They say they are housing 16 people from those nine units.

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