Homeowners ‘picking up the broken pieces’ after SUV crashes into Bernardston house

  • Homeowner Chris Wing Hanlon surveys the damage to her home at 30 South St. in Bernardston after an SUV crashed into it early Friday morning. She was asleep in another part of the house at the time. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Homeowners William Hanlon and Chris Wing Hanlon clean up after SUV hit home Friday, in Bernardston. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Homeowners William Hanlon and Chris Wing Hanlon get help cleaning up debris from Chris’ brother Michael Wing, right, who built the addition that was damaged by an SUV early Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • A 37-year-old Bernardston woman was taken to Baystate Franklin Medical Center with minor injuries after crashing her SUV into a house at 30 South St. in Bernardston early Friday morning. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/BERNARDSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • The tracks left by the Chevrolet Tahoe that struck the home at 30 South St. in Bernardston early Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • This white Chevrolet Tahoe SUV crashed into the home at 30 South St. at approximately 1:39 a.m. Friday morning. The front passenger side of the car was crumpled, and the front wheel snapped off. There was extensive damage to the inside of the home. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/BERNARDSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • Members of the Bernardston Fire Department helped to cover the hole in the exterior wall at 30 South St. with tarps, doing their best to keep out the wind and cold air in the middle of the night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/BERNARDSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT

Staff Writer
Published: 2/21/2020 7:36:44 PM

BERNARDSTON — A couple is dealing with damage to their home after it was struck by a SUV early Friday morning.

According to Bernardston Fire Chief Peter Shedd, the driver was a 37-year-old Bernardston woman who was taken to Baystate Franklin Medical Center with minor injuries. No passengers were in the vehicle and the homeowners, William Hanlon and Chris Wing Hanlon, were uninjured.

The white Chevrolet Tahoe SUV crashed into the 30 South St. home at around 1:39 a.m. Friday morning, Shedd said. The Bernardston Fire Department, Massachusetts State Police and Northfield EMS responded.

“She apparently lost control off the highway, struck the porch and sideswiped the building,” Shedd said.

The front passenger side of the car was crumpled, and the front wheel snapped off. Meanwhile, there was extensive damage to the inside of the house.

“The wall of the dining room took the brunt of the damage,” he said. “It punched a hole right through into the living quarters. ... Thank God the bedroom was in the back of the house.”

According to Shedd, the Hanlons have insurance, and the county building inspector assessed the house on Friday to ensure it is safe to live in while the wall is repaired. He and other members of the Bernardston Fire Department helped to cover the hole in the exterior wall with tarps, doing their best to keep out the wind and cold air in the middle of the winter night.

“It’s the wrong time of year to have a hole in your wall,” Shedd said.

Inside the home, picture frames, a grandfather clock and Fenton art glass pieces were among the damaged personal items. Wing Hanlon said she and her husband were asleep when the SUV hit the house, and were jolted awake by the sound.

“This is so sad,” Wing Hanlon said as she and her family cleaned up their home Friday afternoon. They have lived at 30 South St. for 20 years, but the damaged porch and wall were added a few years ago. Her brother, Michael Wing, a contractor from Wendell, had redone the front porch and extended the living room.

“We’re picking up the broken pieces of our lives,” Wing said as he helped clean up.

State Police are investigating the cause of the accident, Shedd said, though he noted speed was likely a factor.

State Trooper Eric Baumann said the driver was transported for a minor head laceration. She was not placed under arrest and did not receive a summons.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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