A Chevrolet Camaro driven in excess of 80 miles per hour flew 160 feet Saturday and crashed into a nearby home, passing through the living room and kitchen.
According to Lake Havasu City Fire Battalion Chief Mike Quijada, no one was seriously injured in the accident, which occurred at 2:33 a.m. in the 2700 block of Widgeon Lane.
Jonik Rizo, 24, a resident of Tracy, Calif., was driving the vehicle, a new white convertible, when he bottomed out on Smoketree Avenue and went airborne. The car knocked debris into one home, breaking windows. It then did a barrel roll and flew over the fence of another home, bursting through one end of the residence and nearly coming out the other side.
Passenger Wendy Romero, 28, of Lynwood, Calif., was trapped in the heavily damaged car and had to be extricated with the Jaws of Life. She was then flown to Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas and was listed stable condition. Rizo was able to walk after the crash and was transported to Havasu Regional Medical Center.
The owners of the home in which the Camero landed were on vacation at the time of the crash and the residence was vacant.
“It was very lucky no was seriously hurt,” said Corporal Kirk Cesena of the Lake Havasu City Police Department. “By the looks of it, you’d think people would have been.”
Two engines and a battalion chief from the Lake Havasu City Fire Department responded to the scene, along with two paramedic units and Lake Havasu City police. Eventually, the front wall of the house had to be removed to tow the car away.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation, though alcohol and speed were factors, according to Cesena.
Neighbor Jim Karaus said he has seen a fair number of people driving fast on Smoketree Avenue, though speeds over 80 miles per hour are a rarity.
“This is the craziest thing ever,” Karaus added. “I called the home owner to tell him what happened, and he thought I was joking. He thought it was a sick joke.”
April Padilla, who lives across the street from the accident scene, said she feels lucky that the car missed her home.
“We are so close,” she explained. “That was the first thing my 9-year-old daughter said, ‘Thank goodness he didn’t hit our house.’”
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