New Jersey

Car Crashes Into New Jersey Home Block Away From Elementary School

Authorities are investigating what caused a driver to slam into a home on the corner of a residential block near a school in Nutley, New Jersey, Tuesday evening. 

The driver of the 2004 GMC Yukon crashed into the house off Passaic Avenue and Lakeside Drive Tuesday evening, but no one was home at the time.  Firefighters had to extricate the driver from the vehicle. 

"It was like a big boom, I felt a shake and I got really scared," said neighbor Sasha Wanko. 

"If it would have been an hour earlier, it would have been a massacre because you have kids walking," said Chris Wanko. 

The car had crashed through the sunroom of the house, where resident Andrea Stuiso said she often spends her time. 

"I read there, I go on my computer. I do my emails, and I would have been sitting there," she said. 

Witnesses said the 46-year-old driver, a Nutley resident, was conscious and awake as far as they could tell; Chris Wanko said the driver was upright, not slumped over, and moving his hands. 

He was taken to a hospital and listed in stable condition. 

Police officials say the house has been rendered unstable by the crash, and the family living there won't be able to stay there for the night.

Stuiso said she may have lost some belongings and a wall, but still has perspective.

"Thank God nobody was home, you can always fix stuff like this," she said. 

The Nutley police chief said in a statement, "We are very fortunate that no children were present at the time. The home is in close proximity to an elementary school, and children had just left for the day. In addition, the area of the home was where the homeowner spends much of her time." 

"The first responders did a remarkable job at securing the scene and getting the driver to a hospital as quickly and safely as possible," he said. 

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