SUV rams into house

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By Jenny Hartley

Audrey Underwood said an out-of-control Dodge Durango hit her house so hard it made her shower rod fall and the items in her medicine cabinet fall to the floor.

Underwood, who lives at 102 Pardue St., said she was getting ready for work when the SUV slammed into the front of her house Wednesday afternoon.

“I heard the tires screeching and I was already tensed up and it was like, ‘BAM!’” Underwood said, still visibly shaken after the incident. “The whole house shook.”

Underwood smelled smoke as the SUV caught fire. A neighbor came from across the street and made sure she got out of the house through the back door.

The Lancaster Police Department has not released the name of the man driving the SUV. He was taken to the hospital with possibly a broken leg after the incident.

The incident started as an argument between the man and his girlfriend.

According to a police department incident report, a woman told officers that she was driving the Dodge Durango down Arch Street when the man grabbed the steering wheel during an argument and told her that it was her day to die.

The woman said she pulled onto Pardue Street and then off the road. According to the report, the man pushed the woman out of the SUV and into the road.

The man took control of the vehicle and accelerated quickly, then lost control and hit 102 Pardue St. The SUV caught fire after it hit the house.

The man was taken the hospital and was expected to undergo a blood test to determine his blood alcohol level. The report said officers smelled alcohol on the man’s breath.

About 100 people gathered to watch as Lancaster Fire Department firefighters and Lancaster County Emergency Medical Service workers tended the man on the ground in front of the home. They applied a splint to one of his legs.

Dozens of children got off a school bus and flocked around the scene. A bystander on nearby Pardue Circle passed out and had to be assisted by firefighters and EMS workers.

Other firefighters doused the flames under the crumpled hood of the Durango. The front tires of the vehicle were flattened against the front porch.

The brick on the front and side of the home was cracked in several places. Fire Chief Chris Nunnery said the house was shifted about 5 inches from the impact, and was unsafe.

“It’s going to take a lot of money to fix this house,” Nunnery told Underwood.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1151