San Antonio, Texas – San Antonio police say they suspect alcohol may have been involved in an overnight crash in which a van slammed into a South Side apartment building injuring five people, including three children in a bedroom.
In a preliminary report, police said it appears alcohol "may have played a role," but the case is still under investigation.
The report says the van's 27-year-old driver was heading west on March Avenue around 3:30 a.m. Friday.
Instead of making a turn where that street dead-ends into South Flores, he continued straight ahead and plowed into the first floor of a building at the Salem Creek Apartments.
"It appeared that he had left the road at a high rate of speed, went airborne, cleared all the power boxes and the trees," said Russell Johnson, battalion chief with the San Antonio Fire Department.
Firefighters found the van about halfway into a bedroom where three children were sleeping, Johnson said.
They all suffered injuries.
Everyone involved was rushed to a hospital by ambulance.
However, firefighters had to wait before they were able to reach anyone.
"The van was sitting on top of all the power going to the apartment complex and it was energized, so we had a real difficult time getting the van pulled away," Johnson said.
A crew from CPS Energy was called in to cut off the electricity to the building.
Firefighters then cut off the doors of the van to get the driver and passenger out.
Johnson said it could be several weeks before the electricity can be turned on again because repairs will have to be made to the building.
"It knocked the entire apartment about a foot off of its concrete slab on the back side," he said.
Several hours after the crash, a man who identified himself as the father of the children returned to the apartment to collect his family's valuables.
He sifted through the debris with help from two other relatives.
The man said his children are being treated at a hospital but should be OK.
He said his two daughters, ages 5 and 7, had been trapped beneath the van until neighbors helped rescue them.
Due to the repairs needed to the building, firefighters say it could be several weeks before residents are able to return to their apartments.
About 12 units in all are affected.