NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – On Sunday night, a benefit dinner was held for the family who had an SUV crash into their home back in October.
Many members of the community came out to support them.
David Petrilla talked about the reaction he had to the close call he and his family had.
“Such an adrenaline rush. My body was shaking all over,” Petrilla said.
He remembered the moment he and his family were shocked by the crash just over a month ago.
“I heard a big, loud crash and I looked back and the walls were all caving in,” Petrilla said. “We’re just lucky to make it out alive that day.”
The family lost a lot of furniture and clothes, but luckily, no one was injured.
“It was hard to believe ’cause it happened so fast. Life can be taken away that fast too,” Petrilla said.
Petrilla’s son had jumped in to help when he saw what happened.
“My son just came home from work, which lived right next door to us. He actually heard it. He came running out of his house, kicked in the front door as I was going out the back door and got my mother-in-law and my wife out of the house,” Petrilla said.
The driver of the SUV had a medical condition that caused him to crash.
Petrilla’s house on Emma Street is currently boarded up and a guard rail lays across their front lawn.
“Physically, we’re fine. Mentally, it’s taken awhile. It’s taken a process on us that nobody should ever go through,” Petrilla said.
Petrilla considers himself a leader and tries to help out Niles through his community service efforts, but ever since the accident, the community reached out to serve him.
“They called me up and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to hold a benefit for you and your family for the things that you lost in the process of all this,'” Petrilla said.
There’s still some work that needs to be completed before Petrilla and his family can move back in. Until then, they’ll be staying with family members.