Police say the driver was a 27-year-old Palmyra resident who is still in the hospital. They say his condition is non-life-threatening. The woman who owns the house was not home at the time.
Palmyra Police Chief David Smith told News 8 Tuesday with this crash, this feels like it’s more of a medical episode the driver had.
Chief Smith also said the Spectrum van is still wedged inside. To get it out, he says the whole house is going to have to be dismantled.
The police chief says Monday a driver was in a Spectrum van coming down Main Street at an excessive speed, striking the home. He says it was not 100 miles per hour as reported by some, but fast.
“He ended up in the basement and came out the back of the house,” Smith said. “The debris came out the back of the house.”
The police chief said the driver, airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital and still there, likely had some kind of medical episode.
“That’s what it appears to be,” Smith said. “Medical — fell asleep, something along those lines.”
The owner, Karen Lattanzio, was not home during the crash. She said Monday there’s a lot of love and support at her side.
“I feel like I have a lot of love and support behind me, and if I just take it one day at a time, I’ll have a new home soon and all of this will be behind me,” Lattanzio said.
Neighbor Jeff Vanderwedge and his son say the owner’s cat, “Lulu,” was still inside the house. They were trying to get her out since the crash and they say they heard her meow from somewhere in there.
“Yep, brought some catnip out, some cat food. Trying all the tricks,” says Vanderwedge.
The tricks ultimately proved successful: Later in the day, Vanderwedge called News 8 to let us know Lulu was found and rescued.
Smith says again with this case, it appears to be a driver drowsy at the wheel, adding that if you’re feeling sleepy, you should reconsider before hitting the road.
“You know when it’s not safe to drive, then don’t do it; you’re endangering other people’s lives,” he said.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.