DWI charge in Mastic Beach house crash

A car slammed into the home of Jeanne

A car slammed into the home of Jeanne Ruland on Silver Road in Mastic Beach, damaging the house and Ruland's truck. Suffolk County police arrested Israel Hernandez, 21, of Westhampton Beach, charging him with driving while intoxicated. No injuries were reported in the crash. (Jan. 12, 2014) (Credit: Jeanne Ruland)

A Westhampton Beach man was arrested early Sunday morning after, Suffolk County police said, he drove into a Mastic Beach house while intoxicated.

Police said Israel Hernandez, 21, was driving a 1992 Honda Civic when he left the roadway just before 5 a.m. and hit a house at 51 Silver Rd.

Jeanne Ruland, whose house sits at the end of a "T" intersection, was asleep on the other side of her home when the crash occurred. She said she woke up only when a neighbor banged on her door. The car had smashed a decorative wall attached to her garage, slammed into her pickup truck and damaged her travel trailer.


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Her neighbor Linda McMillan was just going to bed after letting her dogs out when, she said, she heard brakes and then a loud crash. She rushed out. "It was steamed over," she said of the smoke at the crash scene. "I don't know how anyone got out of it."

Four men were in the car, including the driver, McMillan said. Two were out in the street when she came out. She, her husband and another neighbor, Pedro Loarca, 52, told them to stay, but "they said, 'no, no, no, they had to go.' " Matt McMillan, Linda's husband, later identified the passengers and the driver to police, she said.

Loarca said, "I was sleeping and I heard a loud noise outside. I went to the window and saw the car."

When he went outside, he said, he saw two men walking out of the car and two still in the vehicle. The men spoke only Spanish, he said.

"I had to translate to the police," Loarca said.

Hernandez was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, according to Suffolk County police. He was arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Central Islip and remains jailed with bail set at $50 cash. His next court date is Friday.

Ruland and McMillan said the two men who fled were later captured by police and two others were taken away by ambulance.With Tania Lopez

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