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West Mich. couple narrowly avoids truck that crashed into house

ALBION, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - An Albion man is killed after he drives his truck into a house.

Police say 33-year-old Dewey Roberts was killed on impact when he sped and missed a turn at a T-intersection. The crash happened at Austin Ave. and Superior St., that connects to I-94.

Firefighters also put out a fire that engulfed the truck and home.

Newschannel 3 spoke to the couple renting the home, who left in the nick of time. They say they left their apartment only about a half-hour before the driver crashed into their home, at speeds police say reached up to 70 miles an hour.

They say they're lucky to be alive.

"The whole thing's melted. When you walk into the kitchen, all the ceiling is melted down," Bracie Briegel says, showing the damage from an impact so violent, the building was pushed off its foundation.

"When we were in, the cops said we had to get out fast because it's condemned. If we would have been home, it would have been really freaky," she says.

Briegel says she and her fiance made a last-minute decision at 2:30 Saturday morning to pick up their dogs and sleep in their new home for the first time.

"Luckily, we got out of there just in time and my dog's kennel is in that room. She would have been dead. Our bedroom is right upstairs. We probably would have got smoked out," Briegel says. "It would have been really bad and I feel really sorry for the family, the loss for the family."

Police say the driver, Dewey Roberts, likely died on impact before a fire began to engulf the house, from broken gas lines inside his truck.
Albion Public Safety Chief Scott Kipp says, "We have information he had possibly been out drinking and then, based on what occurred, it makes sense at that time in the morning, but, until toxicology results are back, we can't be sure."

Police say this isn't the first time a driver crashed into this building. A drunk driver rammed into the home about a year ago and Briegel can remember another driver who fell asleep at the wheel about six months ago.

"The first time it happened, it ruined the whole front porch right here, and my car. It went into the driveway and slammed into my car and hit the front porch," Briegel says.

Kipp says, "The speeds there are only 30 miles per hour. Most of the time when we have cars go through there, it's either mechanical function of the car or usually alcohol related."

Newschannel 3 reached out to the driver's family. They had no comment on what happened.