Car smashes into home on Long Island

April 30, 2010 2:58:02 PM PDT
An East Islip teen lost control of his Jeep while changing a song on his iPod, crashing into a house and sending an elderly resident to the hospital. As seen prior to Eyewitness News on the Oprah show, Oprah is pushing for Friday to be a 'No Phone Zone Day'. The Queen of talk has also campaigned for drivers to put down their phones behind the wheel.

On Long Island it was an iPod that police say distracted a teenage driver who crashed into a home in East Islip.

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Police say the car rolled through two front yards, knocked out a slate wall before hitting a tree and then went into a garage.

Bricks, sheetrock, and wood were all splattered across the driveway after the accident.

The 81-year-old homeowner wasn't hurt, but understandably, the accident had her a little shaken up.

"She was in the back of the house and she just heard a loud boom. She came to the front of the house and obviously saw this jeep lodged in the front of her home. It was pretty scary for her," said the victims son Tim Tansey.

The accident sent the young driver, identified as Jeffrey Verde to the hospital with minor injuries.

His father told Eyewitness News earlier in the day his son received a steroid shot for his allergies, and was trying to plug in his iPod when he lost control.

"He's very upset, he's glad nobody got hurt, except for him, and that's it," said Steve Verde.

This type of distraction is the focus of Oprah's New "No Phone Zone" national campaign.

"It's excellent that she's bringing calling attention to this and lots of other groups are being involved," said Robert Sinclair with AAA.

While Oprah is calling drivers to task, AAA has its own national plans to get all 50 states to pass laws to ban texting behind the wheel.

"We think the law in New York State can be strengthened, to make it a primary offense," adds Sinclair.

With accidents like this one, both campaigns are gaining more support every day.


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