A Glen Ellyn home sustained significant structural damage after police said an SUV driven by a 17-year-old Glen Ellyn girl smashed into it Monday night.
No one in the home was injured as a result of the accident. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured, but two passengers were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, a Glen Ellyn Police official said late Tuesday afternoon.
The Glen Ellyn Police Department responded to the accident at 9 p.m. Monday night. Investigators determined Anne Page, 17, of Glen Ellyn hit the home after driving north on Park Boulevard and attempting to turn left onto Pershing Avenue, according to police. She lost control of the 2004 GMC Envoy, left the roadway and drove into the home.
Page and passengers in the vehicle attempted to flee the scene, but were found a short time later, said Deputy Police Chief Bill Holmer in a news release.
Page was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and making an improper turn, Holmer said. She was released on bail.
The homeowners were in a basement recreation room watching TV when the accident happened shortly before 9 p.m. The home located at 44 S. Park Blvd., on the northwest corner of Park Boulevard and Pershing Avenue, received serious damage to its structure after the SUV careened into the front corner of the home, the location of the front door.
“I thought it was an earthquake,” homeowner Dimitri Niforatos said. “There was the initial shock and everything collapsing.”
Niforatos has owned the home since 1990 and he has lived in Glen Ellyn most of his life, he said.
Wife Michelle Niforatos said she normally spends Monday nights on a couch in the upstairs living room with her chihuahua, Chachi, catching up on TV shows saved on the DVR, but on this night, she was luckily downstairs.
“It would have did me in,” Michelle said. “I saw these lights and heard this boom. I thought it was raining, it sounded like thunder and lightning. Then I heard a boom, saw the lights and the car.”
She grabbed her dog and the couple called 911. They were told to get out of the home in the event the vehicle caught fire.
The couple has been married seven years, she said. She and Dimitri said they never imagined a vehicle hitting the home.
A lot of pedestrian traffic passes their home up and down Park Boulevard and Michelle said she was thankful the accident didn't happen during the summer, when there might have been more people out walking at night.
A neighbor did grab a YouTube video of the vehicle after it had crashed into the home.
“It’s surreal, it’s scary, because I sit there every night and my little chihuahua follows me,” she said. Now, Michelle said she isn’t sure she'll ever feel safe sitting in that room again, though it may be several months before that could happen.
The home, which has been updated and recently was painted inside, has cracks, buckles in the flooring and bulges in the walls from the force of the vehicle. A contractor was out to look at the home and told the Niforatos significant renovations will be required. Until the work is done, their dog will not be able to stay in the home.
The couple also has a 150-gallon fish tank, but luckily neither the vehicle nor the bricks it dislodged hit the tank, she said.
Michelle was trying to clean up some of the damage Tuesday afternoon. Broken glass could be found around the home from the living room where the vehicle entered the home, to the bedroom where she said the picture frame holding her wedding photo had been broken.
“Now, I’m always going to be paranoid,” she said. “It does something to your psyche.”