By Bradley Schlegel
Less than five minutes after Donna Ubert got up to fix a snack in her kitchen on Columbus Day, an empty Lincoln Navigator crashed into her living room.
The impact jolted the house, throwing Dennis Ubert down four stairs.
Running up from the basement, he found himself surrounded by smoke, debris and broken glass.
The Navigator sat idling in the Uberts' living room at 428 Moyer Road in New Hanover Township.
Had she not left the couch, Donna Ubert would have been struck by the SUV.
"I feel like I'm in a movie," Dennis Ubert said Monday after the incident.
When authorities arrived, they found the driver of the Navigator lying disoriented on Moyer Road.
William Nash had crashed into a mailbox on the opposite side of the road, according to New Hanover Township Police Officer Anthony Calvanese.
The vehicle traveled 96 feet before Nash was ejected for reasons unknown to Calvanese.
It then coasted another 136 feet, through a wooden fence, before crashing into the Uberts' living room and garage.
Kimberly Dinsmore, the Uberts' next-door neighbor, called 9-1-1 after she saw Nash rolling along the blacktop and the Navigator coasting through her yard.
"It was a weird scene," Dinsmore said.
Calvanese said Nash, who lives a quarter-mile west on Moyer Road, suffered minor head lacerations and brush burns.
The officer ruled out drugs or alcohol as potential causes of the incident, saying the 61-year-old seemed disoriented but "had all his faculties."
Firefighters from Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue, New Hanover No. 1 and Sassmansville spent four hours dislodging the SUV.
Braces and floor jacks were installed in the basement to support the weight-bearing walls.
"What a nightmare," said Dennis Ubert, who installs heating ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
He and Donna are still recovering from a nearby electrical fire that forced them to pay $10,000 for repairs six months ago.
"It's been crazy living here," he said. "Tell the people who drive this way to slow down."
Calvanese said Nash didn't exceed the 40 mph speed limit before losing control. A car traveling 50 or 60 mph probably would have caused more damage.
Dinsmore compared Moyer Road during evening rush hour to I-95, saying the speed limit should be dropped to 25 mph.
"This road is terrible," she said. "Everyone uses this road to get from one new development to another."
Contact reporter Bradley Schlegel at 610-367-6041, ext. 240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Driver won't be charged in incident
By Brandie Kessler
Special to the Times
Police identified the driver of the SUV that drove into a Moyer Road residence Monday afternoon while the homeowners were there.
William Nash III, 61, of 285 Moyer Road, will not face any charges for the incident after the Lincoln Navigator he was driving crashed into the living room of 428 Moyer Road around 2 p.m. Monday.
"He blacked out," said New Hanover police officer Anthony Calvanese of Nash. "He has no recollection (of the accident) whatsoever."
Calvanese said he asked Nash about his medical background and what medications he is taking but couldn't immediately discern a connection between a medical condition and the accident.
"I asked him the 'ABCs' of 'are you on any medication,'" etc., Calvanese said.
Calvanese said there were no charges for reckless or careless driving because if the cause of the accident was medical, Nash can't be charged for "an act of God."
"There was no alcohol, no drugs, that was apparent," Calvanese said.
The only violation that Nash was guilty of was not wearing his seatbelt, Calvanese said, but he would not be cited for that because it's a secondary offense.
The homeowners, Dennis and Donna Ubert, were luckily uninjured in the incident, despite being in the residence at the time. Donna Ubert said she was in the living room just minutes before Nash's vehicle came crashing through the wall, but fortunately she decided to fix herself a snack in the kitchen.
Dennis Ubert was walking into the basement when the accident happened and also avoided injury.
The Uberts said they have homeowner's insurance which should pay for the damage. Police said Nash also has auto insurance that may pick up some of the cost.
Despite some speculation by Dennis Ubert that Nash must have been traveling pretty fast, police said they don't believe speed played a factor in the vehicle penetrating the house.
"Based on because there was no real markings on the road, I don't believe it was high speed" that lead to the vehicle crashing into the residence's living room, Calvanese said. "It's a heavy vehicle; you'd be surprised" what damage it could do.
Police said Nash was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital for injuries suffered when he was somehow was ejected from the vehicle.
"One of the witnesses ... she said she saw him actually rolling with the vehicle," Calvanese said.
Among his injuries police said were lacerations to his head and face.
Police said Donna and Dennis Ubert were not injured, fortunately. If they had been in the living room, they "could have been seriously injured or even killed," Calvanese said.