Vehicle strikes South Haven house

2013-01-10T16:30:00Z 2013-01-15T13:56:14Z Vehicle strikes South Haven houseJohn Scheibel, (219) 548-4358

SOUTH HAVEN | A South Haven man and his wife were thrown from their bed Thursday morning when an SUV slammed through the front of their Newport Road home and barreled into their bedroom.

Their infant daughter, sleeping in a crib, was buried under debris as the SUV hit a dresser, which then landed on top of the crib.

Jason Rivera, 28, said he and his wife, Jacqueline, and daughter Adriana were lucky to be alive.

"It was about 5:50 this morning. We were asleep, and we heard this loud crack and there was smoke," he said. "Our bed flipped over, and we were thrown against the wall."

"I had to dig the baby out of the crib," he said.

Rivera said Adriana was taken to the hospital to be checked out, but he didn't think she was seriously injured.

Rivera said his foot was swollen but he declined immediate medical attention. Rivera said his wife complained of soreness all over her body, but he did not think she was injured.

"It was scary," Rivera said.

"It was almost like you're in a movie," he said, describing the scene of the SUV crashing into his bedroom.

Porter County police said the SUV's driver, a 33-year-old Portage man, and his passenger were taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Hobart. Police said both had nonlife-threatening injuries.

Police said alcohol was believed to be a factor in the crash, but the driver has not been arrested.

Sgt. Larry LaFlower said toxicology tests were performed and the results are pending.

Ryan Jacob, who also lives in the house, said he had just returned home from his midnight shift at Family Express when the SUV hit the house.

"I thought something exploded," Jacob said.

Nine people, including three children, live in the house. 

By noon Thursday, crews were boarding up the home. Rivera said the home was livable, and the family was awaiting the restoration of electric service early Thursday.

NIPSCO spokeswoman Kathleen Szot said the company had received a county inspection of the building, which cleared the way for technicians to work on restoring power.

Times staff writer Joyce Russell contributed to this report. 

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