Monday, August 1, 2022

Regular and Emergency Brakes Reportedly Failed:
Perry woman stable at Strong Memorial after Saturday crash

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A Perry driver whose brakes reportedly failed is in stable condition at Strong Memorial, Sunday, one day after the vehicle she was driving went through an intersection, into a yard and struck an apartment building at Humphrey’s Hollow Apartments, 50 Oak St.

Warsaw Police Chief Peter Hoffmeister said Sunday morning that Dana Smith, 25, of Perry, was taken first by Perry ambulance to Wyoming County Community Health System and then to Strong, possibly by Wyoming County medics, Hoffmeister said.

Smith’s injuries are non-life-threatening, Hoffmeister said. She was scheduled to undergo more treatment Monday.

“She has a fractured femur and a dislocated left hip, and some internal bleeding,” he said. “It sounds like she’s going to be there for a little while.”

Around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, a witness called county 911 Dispatch about the accident, Hoffmeister said.

“The Warsaw Police Department, Warsaw Fire Department and Perry ambulance responded, Wyoming County medics responded as well. Our officer arrived on location, located a vehicle north of Humphrey Hollows, probably 75 yards off the road. The vehicle struck the building, Apartment A,” he said.

Hoffmeister said according to witnesses and Smith, she was driving east on Summit Avenue Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a very steep road, straight down the hill. She was coming down the grade and she stated she lost her brakes,” he said. Hoffmeister said Smith tried the emergency brake and it didn’t work.

“She went through the stop sign at Summit Avenue and Oak Street. She went off the road and struck the Apartment A building at Humphrey’s Hollow,” he said. “I was figuring her to be going at least 50 mph at the time of collision.”

There were no close calls involving the Kia and other vehicles, Hoffmeister said.

“It’s a pretty quiet street. We got lucky there,” he said.

After impact, the Perry resident was trapped in the Kia, which had substantial front-end damage, the police chief said.

“We couldn’t get the doors open to get her out. The Warsaw Fire Department actually cut her out of the vehicle with the Jaws of Life,” Hoffmeister said. “It took a little while to make sure the vehicle was not on fire. It was just the antifreeze leaking on the engine and smoking. It appeared to witnesses that the vehicle was on fire, but it wasn’t.”

Warsaw firefighters stabilized Smith and got the doors open.

“Once the doors were off, they were able to get her out of the vehicle easily and get her to the hospital. It took them about 20 minutes to extricate with the Jaws of Life,” he said.

Apartment A is one of four buildings at Humphrey’s Hollow Apartments, the police chief said. He said the 2015 Kia struck Apt. 4, a lower apartment. Hoffmeister said there was quite a bit of damage.

“It pushed the brick wall into the apartment, which damaged the structure. We had to displace two tenants out of a lower and upper apartment,” he said. “Luckily at the time of the accident, nobody was home.”

The lone tenant of Apt. 4 was displaced, as was the lone tenant of Apt. 6, the upper apartment where the Kia struck the building.

“We’re working with Wyoming County Code Enforcement to make sure the building is safe for people to live. We’ll be working with the owners of the property this week on that (building damage assessment).”

Warsaw police were on scene for about an hour and a half Saturday, Hoffmeister said. County Code Enforcement was still on scene with Joshua Crane, an assistant fire chief, when police left.

“We just helped secure the apartments that were displaced and that was it,” Hoffmeister said.

The Warsaw police investigation continues, he said Sunday. There may possibly be traffic tickets issued.

“We’ll be discussing that (charges) after the investigation’s completed,” Hoffmeister said.

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