A sleeping mother and her 5-year-old daughter are hospitalized after a car driven by an allegedly drug-impaired driver plowed into their Staten Island home early Friday, pushing their bed up against a wall and trapping them beneath the vehicle, police and relatives said.
Lisa Roman and her daughter Leonora were sleeping on a futon in the kitchen of their two-room home as Roman's two teenager daughters slept in the bedroom when a Hyundai Elantra crashed through the wall shortly after 4 a.m.
Hearing the screams of their mother and younger sister, 15-year-old Josie Roman and her 17-year-old sister raced to their aid and tried to lift the vehicle off their family members. First responders arrived a short time later and pulled the two victims out from underneath the car. They were taken to Staten Island North University Hospital, where they are listed in critical but stable condition.
"My granddaughter is sedated because her injuries are so severe ... mostly to her face," Joanna Micciulla, Lisa's mother and Leonora's grandmother, told NBC 4 New York. "She has damage to her eye sockets and her nose."
Roman has injuries to her arms and face.
Police said the 22-year-old driver, Charles Trainor, was arrested and charged with vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated and driving while impaired by drugs. He pleaded not guilty before a judge Saturday. Bail was set at $15,000 and Trainor's driving privileges were suspended. He's due back in court next week. A request for comment from Trainor's attorney was not immediately returned.
On Friday, the NYPD pulled out the crushed vehicle about five hours after it careened into the house. No other homes were damaged in the incident.
According to Al Calascione, the house's landlord, it was not the first time something like this has happened. In 2002, a truck rammed into the house in almost virtually the same spot. Calascione said he asked the city then to put up a barrier, but one was never installed.
"If there was a guard rail or a tree in front of the house," Calascione said, "for sure it would have deflected the car."