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Car lodged in home after alleged drunk driving crash

Posted: March 28, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 28, 2011 1:55 a.m.

A Dodge Avenger remained lodged in a garage Sunday evening after crashing into the house on Kenton Lane and Copper Hill Drive. The driver crashed his car around 3 a.m. and was later arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. The car had not been removed by Sunday evening due to extensive structural damage to the house.

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A car was still lodged into the side of a Saugus house Sunday evening, hours after plowing into it.

An alleged drunk driver was traveling at an unknown speed when he lost control of his Dodge Avenger and hit the garage of the home on the corner of Kenton Lane and Copper Hill Drive at 3 a.m. Sunday, said Sgt. Brian Allen of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department.

The 21-year-old driver, a Valencia resident, was transported by ambulance to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital after complaining of pain in his head and other areas, Allen said.

Resident Elizabeth Santiso was sound asleep when the car hit her house.

“It sounded like a loud crash and it kind of felt like an earthquake; the whole house shook,” Santiso, 24, said. “It was our dogs that woke us up even more, because they started barking like crazy.”

Santiso threw on a coat and went downstairs to see what happened. She asked the driver if he had been drinking.

“He immediately said ‘No,’ but that he had been talking on his cellphone,” Santiso said.

But preliminary blood-alcohol tests showed the driver was well above the legal limit of 0.08, Allen said.

The station was still waiting Sunday for official results from a blood test.

But an interrupted night’s sleep isn’t the end of the ordeal for Santiso, who lives at the house with her sister Sivon Cohen, 9, and her mother, Frances Cohen.

The car could not be removed from the side of the garage Sunday because it compromised the house’s structure, Allen said.

After the car smashed through the side of the garage, the weight of part of the house came to rest on the vehicle.

Santa Clarita Building and Safety inspected the scene and deemed the car unsafe to move. The house will need to be shored up before the car can be removed.

Meanwhile, the house has become somewhat of a spectacle, drawing lines of cars and onlookers throughout the day.

“Since the break of dawn, there have been people walking dogs and taking pictures,” Santiso said.

Santiso expects the car to be removed today.

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