Driver distracted, slams truck into house

Gabriella Canales By Gabriella Canales

May 18, 2017 at 10 p.m.
Updated May 19, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Firefighters inspect the damage caused when a  truck smashed into a house in the 2600 block of East Airline Road.

Firefighters inspect the damage caused when a truck smashed into a house in the 2600 block of East Airline Road.   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

When a red Ford F-150 weighing about 5,000 pounds wrecked into Victoria resident Helen Cuellar's home Thursday in the 2600 block of East Airline Road, she turned to her daily Scripture.

"God will lead me from deliverance," said Cuellar, reading from her smartphone over the clatter of boards and screeches of the truck being removed.

The truck was traveling east on Airline Road at 11:42 a.m. when it crashed into the house, said Officer Mark Hayden, a crash investigator for the Victoria Police Department's traffic safety unit.

Cuellar watched the vehicle being removed from one of her bedrooms as tears cleansed her mascara-stained cheeks.

"That was my grandson's room. He's in school right now," she said. "He's going to be most upset he won't be able to play his game today."

She has been living in the home for about 12 years.

"We just paid it off last year," Cuellar said.

Her husband was in a back room of the home and her son was in the garage when the vehicle punched through the wall. The impact forced the garage door to slam shut.

"I feel devastated but thankful," she said. "Nobody got hurt, not even the driver."

The Victoria Fire Department and the Victoria Police Department responded to the scene.

There were no injuries, Hayden said. A building inspector was going to assess the damage to make sure the structure was safe.

Tyler Warner, 26, of Victoria, was the driver of the wrecked Ford F-150, said Officer Tyler Kennemer.

"The driver reached down to the floorboard to grab something," Hayden said. "When he looked up, he was coming off the roadway and couldn't press his brakes."

Cuellar said she wasn't angry at the driver.

"He felt so bad; he was crying, saying, 'Why did this happen?" she said. "I've been in the same situation where I've bent to grab something, and snap."

Information about whether Warner will be cited in the crash was not available Thursday.


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