PINE BLUFF, Ark. – A vehicle went airborne Sunday morning after running off Highway 65 and plowed through a house, landing on top of a Pine Bluff man who was asleep in his bed, police said.
"It hit the outside bedroom wall, continued through the bedroom, over the bed and partially exited through the side wall," Pine Bluff Lt. Bob Rawlinson said. "The guy was pinned under the car and rolled up in the mattress."
Devlon Chandler, 34, of Pine Bluff and his wife Arninitra were traveling home from a casino in Greenville, Miss., when he fell asleep at the wheel, police said. The couple's car left the road, traveled over a grassy area, clipped a telephone pole, ruptured a gas main and went airborne before coming to rest in the bedroom of Ricky May, 42, of Pine Bluff.
The bed and other furniture were crushed under the car, Rawlinson said.
"The car was totally inside the house and a little bit sticking out through the other side," Rawlinson said. Two walls were destroyed, he said.
Rescuers were able to free May and he was taken to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center (search) in Pine Bluff, where he was listed in serious but stable condition on Sunday, police said.
May suffered an eye injury and burns from where the vehicle landed on him, authorities said, and he may have to have his right-hand ring finger amputated. The Chandlers also were taken to the hospital, but their injuries were not serious and they were treated and released.
Rawlinson said the Chandlers' vehicle traveled 500 feet from the spot it left Highway 65 until it came to rest in May's bedroom. Devlon Chandler was ticketed for failing to maintain control of a motor vehicle, driving on a suspended license and not having proof of insurance, police said.
The vehicle also ruptured a gas line at May's home, but police said they were able to turn it off. The other gas line break, at the intersection of Highway 65 and Grider Field Road, could not be cut off and authorities said it would require extensive repair work.
"You could hear that gas main roaring hundreds of feet away," Rawlinson said. "It completely tore it out of the ground."
Police said the area is unstable and should be avoided until the gas main is shut off, however no evacuations were ordered.
Rawlinson said alcohol was not a factor in the accident and said that there have been several fatal accidents within the last year at same spot because of a long curve in the highway.