The Charlotte Observer
A tractor-trailer driver who swerved to save an animal in the road slammed into several parked cars and hit a home in Lynn, Massachusetts, officials said.
The driver said he was making a food delivery to an IHOP a few miles away in Salem, when he either saw a raccoon, cat or some sort of animal and swerved to avoid it around 5 a.m. on Nov. 9, Lynn Fire Department Capt. Joseph Zukas told McClatchy News.
As a result, several cars were damaged, including one that was totaled, and the two-family home hit was declared temporarily uninhabitable by the city’s building inspector, he said.
McClatchy News has reached out to the Lynn Police Department for comment.
A utility pole was also hit by the vehicle and “completely severed,” leaving a bunch of wires everywhere, he added.
The tractor-trailer driver and the seven occupants of the home were uninjured, according to Zukas.
“If this happened when kids were going to school a few hours later, it could have been quite different,” he said.
When the driver hit the parked cars, diesel fuel, which is flammable, leaked out from the fuel tank, Zukas explained, which had to be cleaned up with 25 bags of an absorbent called speedy dry.
The neighborhood was shut down until the vehicles were removed, the fire department said in a Facebook post that included photos of the smashed cars and home.
Some parts of the neighborhood lost power from the crash, NBC Boston reported.
“It was pretty scary. It sounded like someone was trying to land a plane on Western Ave. and the entire house was shaking — just crazy noises,” Jessica Demars, who lives in the damaged house, told the outlet.
“The power went out and we just grabbed all the kids, made sure everyone was OK and we got out.”
Zukas offered this advice to drivers who encounter an animal in the road: “drive slow, drive careful, follow the rules of the road. Hopefully you can stop in time.”
“You don’t want to cause a major accident trying to avoid an animal and cause worse damage,” he added. “We don’t want nobody to get hurt, animals included.”