Families Still in Shock After Car Crashes into Apartment
Jun. 15, 2004
Richard Piatt Reporting
It's still hard to imagine a day later, but several families count themselves lucky after a freak accident sparked an inferno in Murray last night.
Four families reluctantly moved what they could out of their damaged apartments today. It's a difficult time for all of them, but they're still amazed at their fortune at the same time.
It all came down to timing, according to firefighters, especially for the woman whose car went through that wall. If it hadn't been for one quick acting man, she might have died there.
Jesse Valenzuela, Murray Fire Department: "That was the difference between her getting stuck in there and her possibly perishing in that fire."
An inferno sparked when a car broke a gas line on it's way through the wall. It was very fortunate for 21-year old Jessica Cranski---the driver---that Josh Lee was close by. He led the way to pulling her from the burning car.
Josh Lee: "I had to step away for a minute because it was nice and hot. But then went back and got her and took her out."
Iraq war veteran Lee shugs off the singed hair, eyebrows, and a few marks on his back. Lots of people would do the same thing, he says. But they're still talking about it--even as clean up begins today
The accident and fire resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage, at least. No one is sure whether the building can be saved yet. For the people who live there, it's an unplanned moving day.
Vance Ray and his wife live on the opposite side of the crash site, but are still shaken up.
Vance Ray, Apartment Building Damaged: "Our kids play right downstairs here. And for this car to come in and smash like that is just, unbelievable, unbelievable."
Dave Beck is going through what's left of his grandmother's apartment today. While she is still in shock, the family retrieves family heirlooms and mementos---again thankful quick thinking neighbors rushed her to safety.
Dave Beck: "You know, the stuff that's replaceable, we'll get replaced and we'll move on."
As of tonight the driver, Jessica Cranski, is in serious condition. As to why this happened, official reports indicate she may have been distracted by a conversation on her cell phone.
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