Accused Drunk Driver Plows into Long Island Home, Barely Missing Sleeping Homeowners

"We heard a horn for like five seconds, and the next thing, we heard the car hit the house," said homeowner Ray Kilanowski

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    A drunk driver barely missed the bedroom where the homeowners were sleeping when he plowed into a Medford home. They recount the frightening experience to Greg Cergol. (Published Monday, Aug. 13, 2012)

    A Medford family barely escaped injury when a car slammed into their home before dawn Monday, just missing the bedroom where the homeowners were sleeping.
    "We heard a horn for like five seconds, and the next thing, we heard the car hit the house," said homeowner Ray Kilanowski.

    "It was a big bang that shook the whole house," he said.
    The car demolished an office, just feet from the bedroom where Kilanowski and his wife had been sleeping. Neither was hurt. Kilanowski's two children and a friend were sleeping upstairs and were also unhurt.
    "I found a guy in the middle of our office," Kilanowski explained. The driver's only words to the man he nearly killed were, according to Kilanowski, "Please don't yell at me."
    The driver then ran, with Kilanowski in hot pursuit, in his bare feet. 
    "I just wanted to get my hands on him and hold him, so he could be accountable for what he did," said the father of two.
    The driver escaped but according to Kilanowski, Suffolk police traced his license plate to a home just down the block.  Mauricio Zabala, 30 of Medford, was arrested in his pajamas, Kilanowski said, telling police he had been asleep the whole time.
    Zabala now faces drunk driving and a slew of other criminal charges. The Honduras native was also being sought on an earlier warrant for allegedly driving without a license, according to a police spokesperson.
    Zabala rented a room with his brother and works at a local restaurant, according to a woman at his home. 

    "He is a very nice guy, very polite," said neighbor Mirtalita Romero.
    The crash marked the second time in three years the Kilanowski home had been hit. The first time, Ray Kilanowski said, the driver backed his car out of the house, then drove off and was never found.
    After that, Kilanowski placed a huge rock in his front yard to protect the house but it apparently was not effective. In this incident, the car missed the rock, crashing through a tree the couple had planted when their children were born.

    According to Kilanowski, police estimated the 1995 Mustang was traveling in excess of sixty miles an hour.
    As his family removed prized items from what was left of the office and workmen prepared to board it up, Kilanowski acknowledged he is now thinking of moving out.
    "This drinking and driving stuff has got to stop," he added, shaking his head in disgust.

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