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Woman, child seriously hurt when car hits home

September 28, 2012 3:09:39 PM PDT
An out-of-control car slammed into a home on Staten Island early Friday, seriously injuring a woman and a child.

The 2010 Hyundai Elantra careened into the small house on Arthur Kill Road and Lee Avenue in Tottenville at around 4:10 a.m.

Lisa Roman, 40, and her 5-year-old daughter Leonora were both trapped under the vehicle for at least 20 minutes and had to be extricated.

"It was horrible, like a worst nightmare," daughter Joziey Roman said.

It wasn't even the crash that echoes through Joziey's mind, but the desperate cries that came soon after.

"Me and my sister were sleeping in the other room, and we heard my mom screaming, 'Help, help, I'm stuck, help!'" she said.

Both were rushed to Staten Island University Hospital North, where they are listed in critical but stable condition.

Lisa Roman suffered burns to her body and is at the hospital's burn center. Leonora suffered fractures of the face and body and is the pediatric intensive care unit.

The victims were reportedly sleeping at the time of the crash.

"We said stay strong, stay with us, and we were screaming my baby sister's name," daughter Melissa Roman said. "And that's when my mom, she was holding my hand, she was squeezing my hand."

Those who live in neighboring apartments say the entire building shook at the impact.

All we heard was a big, loud bang, and then we just heard a lot of screams," neighbor Dawn Montalvo said. "And when we came outside, there was a lot of smoke and the girls were outside screaming and telling us that her mom and sister were pinned under the car."

Several neighbors were evacuated while they waited for the buildings department to evaluate structural integrity of the house.

Police say the 22-year-old driver of the car was taken into custody and is charged with vehicular assault and driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

He may also have been speeding and ran a stop sign before the crash.

"The guy was like, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I lost control,'" Joziey said.

The apology was was hard to accept for a family that lost their home and almost lost so much more.

Witnesses say this is not the first time a vehicle has struck the same house. In August, 2002, a Tottenville man plowed his monster truck into the home, coming to a stop two feet from where resident at the time, Eleanor Rohrig, was sleeping.

CLICK HERE to see images from the scene.

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