MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - At around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Minneapolis police say a truck went off the road and crashed into an apartment building in the McKinley neighborhood, injuring several - including three children.
“I was just lying on the couch watching TV and didn’t hear a thing other than the program I was watching, and the next thing you know, I had a truck on top of me,” Russ McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin’s living room window is about nine feet off the ground in a six-unit apartment building. He was sitting on his couch near that window when the truck crashed in. The truck hit an incline in the lawn outside of the building, likely making the truck go airborne.
“It was not on the ground, it was actually totally like half into the building. We were all concerned about the wellbeing of everyone inside the building,” neighbor Barbara Ribble-Johnson said.
“I didn’t know what to think at first because I didn’t know what happened, just a big crash and dust.” McLaughlin said. “I saw a front tire sitting on my chest and part of the frame on the side of my body.”
He started calling to his wife, who was in the other room, for help. He said he could smell gasoline and worked to get out from under the tire. While his wife called 911, McLaughlin said he went looking for a fire extinguisher and started knocking on doors to warn the other tenants about what happened.
McLaughlin said when the fire department arrived he was taken to the hospital for some minor injuries. He said the woman that lived in the unit below him was also taken to the hospital because she was experiencing a headache.
"My left knee is pretty banged up; I have a bunch of cuts and bruises,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin was released from the hospital. The Red Cross helped put him and the other tenants in hotel rooms for the night on Friday. The apartment building he lived in is now deemed “inhabitable” because of the structural damage.
“Right under the windows, there’s about a seven-foot radiator accordion and that is in the kitchen. It shot it right across the room,” McLaughlin said. “All the brick and rumble and glass is laying all over my living room. It’s a mess in there.”
On Saturday morning, McLaughlin and his wife Donna’s three cats were still inside the building, being kept in a bedroom window with the door shut. They say they’re hoping to get access to the building soon, so they can take their cats and belongings with them.
A spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department said the cause of the crash is still under investigation. They said it is likely that the driver suffered a medical emergency. Their condition is not known at this time.
A spokesperson for the Red Cross tells FOX 9 the organization was handing out first aid and overnight supplies to displaced residents. They also provided a hotel room for residents on Friday night.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the McLaughlins find a new place to live and replace their damaged belongings. You can find that page here.