PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Daniel Mickalonis knows he’s pretty lucky, but he didn’t realize how lucky until a car slammed into his house early Saturday morning while allegedly fleeing from police.
“That’s right where my computer and desk sit and if this had been 24 hours earlier, I’d be dead right now,” he said Tuesday, three days after being jolted awake by a “loud thud.”
That thud was a car, allegedly driven by Evan Michael Julian Carruthers, 21, who is facing weapons and traffic charges stemming from the incident.
Mickalonis also said he’s lucky that his great-granddaughter, who normally sleeps in the front bedroom of his house, nestled at the corner of North Sherwood Avenue and West Richwoods Boulevard, decided to sleep with his daughter, her grandmother, that night.
“It was filled, six inches deep, with glass, plaster, wall board, plastic, car parts,” he said Tuesday still in shock over what happened. “I had to clean it up because it was just too dangerous.”
Peoria police said officers were called to the area of East Gift Avenue and North Wisconsin Avenue shortly after 12:30 a.m. The ShotSpotter gunfire detection system indicated 25 rounds had been fired. When they arrived, they saw a vehicle leaving the area at a high rate of speed and tried to pull it over.
The car didn’t stop and a short time later, Carruthers’ vehicle which was headed north on Sherwood, slammed into Mickalonis’ home. Tire tracks from the street to the house were plainly visible. There was a run-over “No Parking” sign and piles of brick and a steel beam laid on the ground. The car also hit the wall of the garage, causing the wall to buckle.
Mickalonis said smoke from the radiator filled the house. There was debris all over the place but thankfully, none of the three people who were home were injured.
Officers saw Carruthers get out of the vehicle and run away on foot. After a brief chase, he was caught and taken into custody. During a search of his vehicle officers located a loaded handgun inside.
Carruthers was charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He spent two days in jail before posting about $3,000 to be released, according to online jail records.
He’s due to appear next in court for a preliminary hearing on the new allegations on June 22.
Incidentally, Carruthers was out on bond for another incident, which occurred in March that also involved allegations that he was driving at a high rate of speed and was trying to flee from officers. Details regarding that incident weren’t immediately available.
Mickalonis is still stunned. He loves his house which he moved into seven years ago and hopes it’ll be fixable given the extensive damage. He’s glad his great-granddaughter slept through the entire thing and he’s glad no one was hurt.
“This is such a quiet street. It really is. You just don’t expect anything to happen. I’m thankful that no one was hurt or injured,” he said.
Still, he’s shocked and now, a bit scared.
“The guy (from the fire department) told me that if this would have been a wooden-frame structure, the car would have went through the house and probably into a couple rooms. He was flying (down Sherwood)… But I am terrified about living here now because usually when it snows, I get someone coming through going 15 mph that hits the stop sign but that’s because it is slick,” he said. “But not some guy driving 80.”