Suspected Drunk Driver Plows into Home in Norwalk

In the early morning hours of July 23, 2015, a man was in his kitchen making coffee when he heard a loud bang. As R. Chavez ran out of his kitchen to investigate the loud noise, he immediately discovered that an SUV had plowed into his living room.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to the 13000 block of Elmcroft Avenue in Norwalk at 5:15 a.m. When they arrived at the scene, they found that a sport utility vehicle had driven straight into a house.

Chavez told NBC 4 that he heard a “major pound” and that his first instinct was that there was an accident outside. When he looked to find out where the accident was located, he realized that it was in his house, inside his own living room.

The driver was identified as J. Ortega, 27. Ortega was spending the night at a friend’s house down the street. Ortega got behind the wheel of the SUV and slammed through the concrete wall in front of the house, littering the lawn with debris.

The driver was leaning over the wheel, and according to Chavez, some neighbors ran over and pulled Ortega out and laid him on the floor.

Ortega was not injured in the crash, but he was still transported to a hospital for observation. He was later booked into jail on DUI charges. Even though he caused thousands of dollars of property damage, he did not face felony charges because no one else was injured, NBC 4 News reported.

Ortega was charged with misdemeanor DUI, and his court hearing was scheduled for July 24, 2015.

Chavez said that in the 28 years that he had lived in the house, he never filed an insurance claim, so this will be the first. After emergency responders helped remove the debris, Chavez was told that it was safe enough to continue living in his home, despite the fact that the front of his house was open and exposed.

Chavez maintained a positive outlook and said that he had support from his church and the community.

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