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Wreck room: Man crashes Jeep into 2nd floor of house

The East Moriches Fire Department works on securing

The East Moriches Fire Department works on securing chains to the vehicle in an effort to remove it from the house on East Moriches Boulevard. (Sept. 5, 2009) Credit: David Rubin

A suspected drunken driver's Jeep sped through a stop sign, flew into the air and catapulted into the second story of a house in East Moriches Saturday, Suffolk police said.

With the Jeep ending up marooned vertically in the foyer - its headlamps pointing up - police arrested driver Adam Clark, 20, of East Moriches, who was slightly injured. He was later charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.

No one was seriously injured in the 12:25 a.m. spectacular wreck, which happened when the Jeep ran off the road and hit some piled-up dirt, police said.

"He hit that and went airborne," said Sgt. Robert Lehmann, a supervisor in Suffolk's Seventh Precinct.

Police said the Jeep, which also had a passenger, then "descended from the second floor to the first floor."

After his arraignment Saturday in First District Court in Central Islip, at which Clark was ordered locked up on $1,000 bail, his father said he was relieved no one got hurt.

"It's just one of these unfortunate things," said the dad, who did not give his name. "These kids have growing pains."

The dad insisted his son, who he said had attended Westhampton Beach High School, is not a fast driver. He said his son has "always been a good kid" and "never was in bad trouble."

During the arraignment, Clark said, "I'm very, very sorry for everything I caused."

Authorities said Clark had been speeding southwest on East Moriches Boulevard when he failed to heed the stop sign at Locust Avenue. Ahead, police said, was the berm - and the house.

Police seized a blood sample from Clark, who reeked of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, was unsteady on his feet and failed a succession of field sobriety tests, they said.

Clark and his passenger, Richard Mailand, 20, of East Moriches, were brought to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, checked over for minor injuries and released, police said.

Several hours after the mayhem, homeowner John Sarli, 58, recalled how he was asleep on the couch in the den on the first floor of the home near his beloved dogs when he heard a loud noise and glass breaking.

At first Sarli was bewildered about what happened.

"I heard a bad crash and smelled dirt," he said.

"And lo and behold there's a Jeep crashed into the second floor of my house."

Sarli's wife, Myra, 51, wept as she described the damage.

"This is our home," she said.

The Sarlis said the wreck left dirt everywhere and several antiques and family heirlooms ruined.

John Sarli said that though there is significant damage, he's happy no one lost a life.

"It's just material things," he said.

With Elizabeth Moore

and April Warren

Click here to see photos from the crash

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