UPDATE | Woman dead in Austintown crash
Austintown police confirmed an elderly woman was killed when her vehicle hit an Evans Avenue home Tuesday afternoon.
The woman, presumed by police to be the driver, had not been identified later Tuesday. The coroner’s office is expected to perform an initial autopsy.
Police continue to investigate the cause of the crash. Eyewitness John Beale said the woman’s sedan nearly struck several motorists along nearby Idaho Road.
Police said the vehicle then continued north along Evans Avenue at a “high rate of speed” — upwards of 90 mph, according to Beale — across several private yards along the west side of the road.
“We won’t be able to determine (the speed) until we actually pull the computer from the vehicle,” said Austintown police Lt. Tom Collins. “We’ll be able to extract that data to determine how fast that vehicle was going.”
The vehicle then crossed the Placid Boulevard intersection and struck the side of the home at 56 Evans Ave., punching a hole several feet high, destroying the garage door and making a sound Beale likened to a mine detonating.
“I saw a huge plume of smoke,” he said. “This was pretty scary. You don’t expect stuff like that in a neighborhood like this.”
The car was tipped on its side when first responders arrived minutes later. Though police presume the woman was driving the car, she was not in the driver’s seat when responders arrived — presumably moved by the impact.
The homeowner — who declined to speak with The Vindicator, except to say she was “in shock” — was not home at the time of the crash. Responders broke down the door to check for injured residents.
No other injuries were reported.