Driver hospitalized after SUV crashes into home
MAYVIEW — A Potomac man was hospitalized in fair condition Monday afternoon, after the SUV he was driving crashed into a house in Mayview on Monday morning.
State police said James E. Hayes, 58, was injured when his vehicle left U.S. 150, went through a corn field and ran into the corner of Kevin Luebchow's house.
"I heard a loud bang and felt the whole house shake," said Luebchow, who was working at his computer when the crash happened a few minutes before 10 a.m.
He went upstairs to get his son because it had been stormy Monday morning and he thought the house might have been hit by lightning.
When he came back downstairs, "I heard a noise, which was actually the engine still running in the vehicle," he said. He went outside and saw the SUV had crashed into the home.
"The whole southeast corner of the house is basically gone," he said. The vehicle "hit the foundation and it rocked the whole house. It took out several floor joists."
Russell Chism, chief of the St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Protection District, said his department was sent to the scene at 9:55 a.m.
He said the vehicle traveled "quite a distance," and Luebchow estimated it was 75 yards.
The house needs to be evaluated for structural soundness, Chism said, and Luebchow said he was advised to contact a structural engineer. Power and water to the house were disconnected.
"It's got some major damage to it," Chism said.
Hayes, the driver of the SUV, told firefighters and state police that he blacked out while driving. He was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, where he was listed in fair condition Monday afternoon.
State police said he was driving west about four-tenths of a mile east of County Road 1900E and left the road to the north. Hayes told police he had been feeling ill and passed out during a coughing spell while driving, and that he awoke after the crash.
Hayes was ticketed for improper lane usage. He was wearing a seat belt.