BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – A 41-year-old man was killed when the vehicle he was driving crashed into the front of a house on Davidson Avenue Wednesday morning.
Buffalo police and city leaders are still working to piece together exactly how it happened. “It’s inexplicable, just from looking at it at the scene right now, trying to imagine what might have occurred here,” said Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield.
Buffalo Police say the driver apparently lost control of his vehicle.
Surveillance video from the neighbor’s house shows the vehicle coming up Leonard to the intersection with Davidson, and then it just kept going, apparently striking a tree and going airborne. The vehicle crashed into the front of a house, hit a car in the driveway, and came to a rest facing back toward the road, leaning against the house next door. The driver was killed in the crash. “It’s really heartbreaking,” said one man who lives up the street from the house that was hit after coming to the scene to survey the damage.
The crash was an incredibly close call for the people who were asleep inside the house at the time. “I just heard a loud bang, and I just jumped up. And I figured whatever had happened happened in front of the house, and I ran to my daughter’s room and checked on her and saw the pieces of the wall on the floor,” recalled Regina Hadley, who lives in the first floor apartment with her three children.
Hadley was sleeping on the couch in the front room of her apartment when the vehicle hit the house. She had only recently moved the couch away from the spot where the vehicle came crashing in. “I had it right in the front window not too long ago, and because I imagined something like this happening, I’m like ‘let me rearrange my house’, so I did, and thank God I did,” she said.
Hadley says she believes it could have been divine intervention that prompted her to move the couch, after realizing how easy it could be for a car to speed through the intersection and end up hitting her home. “God is good. That’s all I do know,” Hadley told News 4. “God is good, because something made me do it. And I did. And my kids are okay, so I’m happy about that.”
The family that lived upstairs was not hurt in the crash, either.
Hadley and her children are now staying with other family members. Their home has been declared unsafe to live in by structural engineers. The damage to the foundation walls in the front and side of the house has been described as “significant” and the utilities have all been turned off.
Buffalo fire and city engineers were working to stabilize the house Wednesday morning, adding wooden braces to the front where the vehicle crashed into the building.
Still, knowing how close she came to being hit by the car herself, and knowing that no one else in the house was hurt, Hadley says she has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. “Happy thanksgiving to us,” she said.
“But I do feel terrible for whoever that was,” she added.
Police have not yet released the identity of the man who was killed in the crash. Head of the Accident Investigation Unit Lt. Thomas Leatherbarrow says the driver may have suffered a medical condition.