Vehicle crashes into house in Independence; injures man


by Sarah Squires

An evening at home in front of the television turned dangerous for an Independence, Wis., man Saturday night, when a vehicle crashed through his kitchen and living room and pinned him under the car.

The ‘99 Pontiac Grand Prix, driven by Mario Velazquez, 18, smashed through the house just after 11 p.m. Police said that Ronald Killian, 56, was watching television in a lounge chair in the living room when the vehicle hit, which pinned his right arm and leg under the car.

Independence police officer Mike Osmond said that neighbors heard the car accelerate loudly before the crash, which occurred on a curve on Silver Drive. It appeared, said Osmond, that the car crashed through a small fence and hit a small tree and clothesline before hitting the residence.

The vehicle was completely inside the living room and kitchen area of the house, said Osmond, and said he believed that Killian's wife was resting in the bedroom when it hit.

After the accident, a neighbor came out of the house and reportedly saw Velazquez and a passenger, Ricardo Florentino, trying to leave the scene. Osmond said that the neighbor stopped the two, and called police.

Osmond said Independence fire team members lifted the vehicle off Killian's arm and leg, and that he was airlifted to Gundersen Lutheran Hospital. Florentino was transported to TriCounty Hospital in Whitewater with minor injuries and was later released.

Valazquez was charged in Trempealeau County Court Monday with second degree reckless endangerment of public safety and operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing injury.

Osmond said that road conditions were clear and dry that night. "It was a gorgeous night out, actually," he said.


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