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updated: 1/11/2012 6:33 PM

'Like a bomb went off' -- Wheaton woman tells of SUV crash into home

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  • Police are still investigating a car accident in Wheaton that damaged a home at Farnham Road and Huntleigh Court and caused a gas leak Tuesday. The same SUV is suspected in two hit-and-run accidents that happened earlier that day.

      Police are still investigating a car accident in Wheaton that damaged a home at Farnham Road and Huntleigh Court and caused a gas leak Tuesday. The same SUV is suspected in two hit-and-run accidents that happened earlier that day.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Crews investigate damage done the house of Joan and George Lorenzo after an SUV crashed into their home Tuesday at Farnham Road and Huntleigh Court in Wheaton.

      Crews investigate damage done the house of Joan and George Lorenzo after an SUV crashed into their home Tuesday at Farnham Road and Huntleigh Court in Wheaton.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Angela Lorenzo was watching TV with her parents, George and Joan, in their Wheaton home Tuesday afternoon when suddenly, "it sounded like a bomb went off."

"We rushed toward the living room and saw the whole north corner of the living room had a hole in it," Angela said.

The driver of a black Nissan Pathfinder had lost control of the SUV while traveling west on Farnham Road, near Huntleigh Court, about a block east of Naperville Road, according to Wheaton police. The driver hit a tree, then struck the Lorenzo home about 4:45 p.m. after being involved in two earlier hit-and-run accidents, police say.

The driver was ejected from SUV, while the passenger was trapped inside but soon was rescued by Wheaton firefighters and paramedics.

Both men were taken to Central DuPage Hospital and were expected to survive. Police would not say Wednesday if the men remained hospitalized, and whether charges would be filed. The crashes are still under investigation as police are attempting to interview the drivers and other witnesses.

The Lorenzo family was not injured, but Angela Lorenzo said her 80-year-old father, George, also was taken to the same hospital for precautionary observation.

Wheaton police and Illinois State Police are also investigating the SUV's involvement in two hit-and-run crashes earlier that same day. The first happened on I-355 near Addison, the second occurred about 4:30 p.m. at Roosevelt Road and Blanchard Street, about a mile and a half from where the SUV rolled. One person reported being injured in the hit-and-run, police said.

In addition to damaging the Lorenzo home, the vehicle caused a minor natural gas leak that was stopped by the Wheaton Fire Department.

The Lorenzo family remained without water, gas or electric service on Wednesday and was staying at a nearby hotel, said Angela Lorenzo. The insurance company had sent workers to board up their living room, she said.

Lorenzo added that the crash was the biggest disaster to hit the home, where her parents have lived for about 35 years.

"It's a little scary," she said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Wheaton Police Department traffic unit at (630) 260-2161.

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