Minibus crashes into home in Livingston, New Jersey

LIVINGSTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- A minibus carrying three adults from a group home and their driver crashed into a home in Livingston, New Jersey, on Thursday night.

It happened around 5:30 p.m. on W. Northfield Rd.

Livingston officials say the minibus driver said that her brakes failed.

"The driver stated she came in, she lost the brakes and rather than go straight on into the house, she veered to lessen the impact, went through the garage, through the wall and over the embankment," said Chris Mullin, Livingston Fire Chief.

The driver was able to get out quickly and first responders were called, but three of the residents were still inside the van.

"It was teetering, so we had to secure it first before we could make entry. Then we were able to remove the three safely," Mullin said.

The three adults with special needs and the driver were all taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Power also had to be cut to the house due to damage to the electrical panel. There was extensive damage to the garage.

"We're going to brace it up. Clean it up. We cut the power off. Shut the sprinklers off so there would be no water damage," said Martin Chiarolanzio, Livingston Construction official.

"So they won't spend the night here?" Eyewitness News Reporter Tim Fleischer asked.

"No. Everybody is out. They will spend the night in other places," Chiarolanzio said.

A van was brought in to keep the other residents warm and transport them to a local hotel.

Next came the delicate work of Livingston Collision. They used two heavy duty tow trucks to carefully pull the van from the ditch without causing more damage to the house.

"We used the two trucks to work it out from the tree and prevent it from rolling over. One truck kept it stable while the other truck brought it back," said Clint Richards, tow manager.

Once it was out, Livingston Police could get a better look at the van and begin to investigate why the brakes apparently failed.
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