Suamico couple talks about close call after car crashes into home


SUAMICO, Wis. (WBAY) — A Suamico couple said they are lucky to be safe after a car plowed into their living room Tuesday night, just feet from where they were sitting.

Both of them are unhurt.

The driver, also unhurt, was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence.

It happened in the 1400 block of Riverside Drive in Suamico around 8 p.m.

“My living room’s a mess it’s a big shamble right now,” said Neil Vannieuwenhoven, who was in his home when the vehicle came crashing into it.

“When I got there, about a quarter to a third of the vehicle was sticking outside of the residence, the rest was inside,” said Troy Noe, Suamico Fire Chief.

Before the crash, Vannieuwenhoven and his wife were watching TV in their living room.

“I left that room for probably two minutes,” Vannieuwenhoven said.

That’s when he heard something.

“I heard ‘pow.’ He blew a tire when he hit the curb and then just within a matter of five seconds he was in the house,” said Vannieuwenhoven.

His wife was still in the living room.

“The car went within a foot from her,” Vannieuwenhoven said.

Vannieuwenhoven had to move the chair he was previously sitting on out of the way to help his wife get away from debris.

“I feel if I was in that chair I wouldn’t be here,” said Vannieuwenhoven.

Vannieuwenhoven said while this is the first time a car has gone through the home, it isn’t the first there has been a close call.

“Sitting, watching tv, you see lights come around the corner all of the time,” Vannieuwenhoven said. “One other car just about hit the house here.”

Vannieuwenhoven said he is disappointed about what happened, but lucky to be unhurt.

First responders agree.

“When you see something like that knowing the layout of the residence and it is an elderly couple that lives there, you always have got to think for the worst,” Chief Noe said.

Noe said incidents like this are happening more frequently.

“I’ve been on the department for 33 years. I’ve been to one vehicle versus house prior to this and within the last three weeks we’ve had two,” said Noe.