Driver charged after minivan crashed into Wisconsin home

Image 1 of 8

Photo Courtesy: Newburg Fire Department

A Wisconsin man is now charged after he allegedly crashed a minivan into a home, lodging it 15 feet in the air.

Jaymon Ingelse of Lanser Garage and Towing, who helped remove the vehicle from the house says it's an image he won't soon forget.

"It was pretty unique," said Ingelse. "We've done a lot of specialized removals, but never a vehicle that was vertically standing [in a home].

Alva Richards, 35, of Waubeka, Wisconsin is charged with one count of second degree recklessly endangering safety and one count of drug possession. He faces up to a $25,000 fine and 10 years behind bars.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Ozaukee County, the crash happened around 3:16 a.m. on June 28 in the Village of Newburg, Wisconsin, which is about 34 miles north of Milwaukee.

A woman called 911 after hearing a "loud bang" from a crash and later discovered the minivan embedded in her neighbor's home in the 4200 block of West Hawthorne Drive. The minivan was lodged vertically in the home about 15 feet off the ground. 

Investigators determined the van left the road and hit a stone embankment surrounding the home at a high speed, which launched it into the home. 

"The engine was in the attic and the front bumper went through the exterior roof," said Inglese. "The rear bumper was on the bedroom floor joist."

The charges say the homeowner was asleep in the bedroom when the crash happened. While covered in motor oil and other vehicle fluids, he was not injured.

The deputy found the driver, Richards, in the driver's seat. Richards appeared to be in "altered state of mind" and fell out of the vehicle, landing on the ground 15 feet below.

Richards told police he "smokes marijuana every day," but he didn't know when he had last had some. At the hospital, officials took a blood draw for chemical test. Richards later told authorities he also suffers from a seizure disorder and his most recent seizure was in May. He explained he eats cannabidoil gummies and admitted he had smoked marijuana earlier that day.

When authorities search the van, they found a backpack that smelled of marijuana. Inside was a grinder and 0.6 grams of marijuana.

To remove the van from the home, Ingelse says they had to lift the van about six inches with a tow and then pivot it out. He says the removal process took about an hour.