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'Suddenly we hear an earthquake sound': Family speaks out after stolen van crashes into baby’s room

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Two teenagers are now facing charges after a stolen van crashed into a home in east London, Ont. Tuesday evening.

Krishna and his wife Saiteja were enjoying a quiet evening with their 14-month-old daughter Anvika when their worlds were shaken, literally.

“And suddenly we could hear an earthquake sound,” said Saiteja. “Something like doom, like it was completely shaking the house,” she exclaimed.

A stolen delivery van had crashed into their home at the corner of Manitoba Street and Churchill Avenue.

It penetrated a brick wall and ended up partially inside their baby’s room.

It ripped the room apart, ramming the baby’s bed up against the opposite wall.

Fortunately, they were just outside the room so they were not hurt. They ran to see what had happened.

“It was cold outside, I didn’t even take anything for her,” explained Saiteja. “I covered her with my sweater and just came out and we saw that all the fence was broken, our wall is broken, there’s a car inside our house, and it was completely terrifying.”

Krishna said he was angry, but also relieved they were okay.

“We are glad that our family’s safe,” he said. “Because as you see, this is the wall. Just two metres away. They [were] just sitting on the sofa. I was sitting in that chair. This is the room [where] it happened,” said Krishna as he pointed to the chair he was sitting in just outside the room.

Police said that at about 5:50 Tuesday evening, a man reported he was robbed of his van at gun-point on Calgary Street. Police then received multiple reports of a vehicle striking houses and property in the area.

It hit the porch of a home on Spruce Street, tearing up the lawn in the process, and it was then seen driving across East Lions Park and doing spinouts in the grass.

It finally came to rest after it crashed into the family's home.

Neighbour Nick Lindsay was among a small group of neighbours who apprehended a suspect at East Lions Park, who was subsequently arrested when police arrived a short time later.

“He was running a little odd,” said Lindsay of male suspect. “I don’t know if that was from the crash or if he was on something. I asked him, ‘Where do you think you’re going bud?’ and he just kept saying like leave him alone.”

Cleanup is underway after a stolen van crashed into a London home on Feb. 27, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)

Police said a second suspect was arrested nearby.

Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis, who lives just steps away from where the mayhem took place, was upset by the events.

“Well I mean I’m literally standing right now on tire tracks left by this van,” said Lewis, standing just outside the front doors to the East Lions Community Centre. “You can see the playground behind me, how close this came to people who were here enjoying this facility. I mean, I’m so thankful that no one was hurt,” he said.

Police said the investigation has been assigned to the LPS Street Crime Unit.

A 17 year old and an 18 year old are facing multiple charges, including:

  • Theft of a motor vehicle
  • Armed robbery

The 18-year-old male has been additionally charged with the following offences:

  • Pointing a firearm
  • Breach of a recognizance

The 17-year-old male has been additionally charged with the following offences:

  • Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle;
  • Assault
  • Resist arrest

As for Krishna and Saiteja, they’re just thankful they’re okay.

“If they were in that room and that should happen that time it would have been a fatal accident,” said Krishna.

    

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