Driver Charged for Crashing Into Home, Trapping 4


Daniel Vanderhoof (Mentor Police)

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MENTOR, Ohio – Charges have been filed against the driver of a car that crashed into a home on Comanche Trail early Sunday morning.

Daniel Vanderhoof, Jr., 28, was arraigned on Monday in Mentor Municipal Court.  He has been charged with four counts of Aggravated Vehicular Assault, Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated, Driving while under Suspension, Driving without a License, Reckless Operation and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

According to a spokesperson for the judge, Vanderhoof did not enter a plea on the felony charges, but he did enter a not guilty plea on the traffic-related charges.  Bond was set at more than $400,000 and he’s currently being held in the Lake County Jail.

On Sunday, police said Vanderhoof was drunk when he drove at a high rate of speed down Iroquois Trail and crashed into a home on Comanche Trail, where Iroquois comes to an end.

Skid marks from the tires extend for several feet down Iroquois towards the house where four people were injured. 

"You know, if you're going that fast and that far of a skid, you gotta be going pretty good,” said Mike White, a nearby resident.

Firefighters at the scene on Sunday were among those who were shocked no one died after the car went up the front lawn, into the house and almost out the back. 

"The front of the structure was taken off, everything in the front was moved to the rear of the structure,” said Michael Ulrich from the Mentor Fire Department.

According to police, a 31-year-old man, 30-year-old woman, a three-year-old boy and one-year-old girl were all injured. The children were found trapped under debris at the scene.

"I heard a big bang and me and my wife heard it too and we got up, started to look around and see if it was our house,” said Francis White, who lives near the scene. 

“I looked out and I seen these tail lights hanging out the guy's house, in the front room, I couldn't believe it!"

FOX 8 News is not identifying the victims of the crash.  The dad is in fair condition at MetroHealth Medical Center and the two children are in stable condition at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.  The woman was treated and released following treatment for minor injuries.

"It's very sad, it's heartbreaking, really,” said an unidentified neighbor.

According to investigators in Mentor, there was a 29-year-old male passenger in the vehicle with Vanderhoof but he was not charged.  Vanderhoof will be back in court on December 17th.

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