INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Four people were hospitalized early Monday morning after a stolen Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) maintenance truck slammed into two homes on the west side of Indianapolis early Monday morning.
The Indianapolis Fire Department was called to the 4500 block of Patricia Street around 1:40 a.m. When crews arrived, they discovered a truck hit two homes and was still inside one of them.
IFD believes the driver of the truck failed to navigate the turn eastbound onto Patricia Street near the intersection of West 30thStreet and Georgetown Road.
The driver went off the road and crashed into two houses causing significant damage.
IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith says four people were hospitalized: three adults and one teenager.
“Oh my gosh! The four people that were transported that were actually in the home are extraordinarily lucky that they are okay and escaped with only minor injuries,” Reith said.
James Jefferson, 63, says he was sleeping when the truck suddenly crashed through his bedroom. The truck hit the foot of his bed with a glancing blow and shifted it across the room.
“The roof, I mean the side of the house just went away,” Jefferson said. “And I looked and all I could see was a truck going through my bedroom.”
“To be honest, I thought I was dreaming,” Jefferson continued. “And all of a sudden this big, sounded like a freight train come through my house.”
Jefferson was treated and released from Eskenazi hospital after suffering several
bruised ribs. Several hours after the sudden close call, he said he realized how close he came to possibly losing his life.
“I got a number,” he said. “Obviously, my number ain’t up yet.”
An Indianapolis Public Schools spokesperson said Monday the truck was stolen from the Facilities Maintenance Division lot at Northwest Middle School. She said the truck is normally used to haul trash and debris.
It’s not clear how the suspect or suspects gained access to the truck inside the gated lot, or how they were able to get into the truck and get it started.
Witnesses at the scene reported seeing three young males running from the truck after it became lodged inside the house.
Residents also said they were told one of the suspects dropped a cell phone and police recovered it. One of the suspects may have also left blood on some curtains while escaping through a window of the home.