86-year-old woman needs new place to stay after beer truck crashes into Avon Lake home

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AVON LAKE, Ohio (WJW) – 86-year-old Dorothy Phillips says she was sitting in her living room on Friday morning, when a beer truck slammed into her home on Lear Road in Avon Lake.  

“I was watching television and the next thing I heard and saw was glass shattering throughout the house,” she said.

Investigators say the beer truck careened out of control, after colliding with a car that ran through a stop sign on Electric Boulevard.

After surveying the damage done to the house she has rented for the past 37 years, Phillips said, “I was in a state of shock, I didn’t know what to think.”

She says the unstable condition of the house prompted the City of Avon Lake to declare the home “unsafe for human occupancy.”

The owner of the house is weighing whether to make major repairs or tear it down and rebuild. Either way, Dorothy Phillips needs to find a new place to stay.

“Very concerned, I’ve just been sick over this, difficult to eat, I try to eat, nothing stays down” she said.

Dorothy’s longtime neighbor, Jean Zahurancik, arranged for her to stay at a nearby hotel, and she is trying to help her find long term affordable housing.

“You just don’t leave somebody hanging, you know that’s what friends do,” said Zahurancik. “Several of the agencies have offered like food vouchers or clothing or gas, and we said ‘no, we don’t want that, we just want a roof over her head, period, end of story, that’s all she wants.’”

They have approached several charitable organizations about the problem and the news was not promising.

“Everybody said ‘well there’s a one year, six months, four year waiting list on a lot of these places,’ you know so we’re kind of in limbo here,” said Zahurancik.

Dorothy Phillips’ only income is Social Security, so she’s hoping to find a home with a rent that is in the same range as what she’s been paying, $600 a month.

After what’s she been through since Friday morning, she says the most important qualities she is looking for, a home that is clean and safe.

“It would mean everything to me, security, I wouldn’t be afraid,” she said.

If you would like to help Dorothy Phillips find affordable housing, please send your proposal and contact information to: jmz51@juno.com

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