MERIDEN — Preston Avenue resident Aldo Signorello compared the sound of a tractor-trailer crashing into his home early Thursday to thunder or “a bomb going off.”
“The house shook so we got up right away,” said Signorello, who lives at 484 Preston Ave. “I came out of the front and the only thing I could see were the cars, someone hit the cars, then I started going up a little bit and saw the tractor-trailer inside the house.”
The crash occurred just after 4 a.m. The tractor-trailer, carrying mail from Springfield, Massachusetts, struck Signorello’s house after hitting three parked cars and a tree. The driver, Francisco Luna, told police he was headed south on Preston Avenue and swerved toward the shoulder to avoid a car traveling in the opposite direction, police Lt. Thomas Cossette said.
The tractor-trailer struck a white work van parked in front of 502 Preston Ave., then struck two more vehicles and a tree before hitting the house, Cossette said.
The truck pushed the tree into an unoccupied bedroom at 484 Preston Ave. and came to rest alongside the house, according to Assistant Fire Chief Brendan Noonan.
Signorello and four other adults were home at the time but were not injured.
Signorello said the bedroom that was struck is his daughter’s room. She is a nurse, and was working at the time of the crash. There is extensive damage to the home and the residents will be working with their insurance company to secure the property, Cossette said.
Luna had a bump on his head and was evaluated at the scene by medical personnel, but was not taken to a hospital.
Jill Canalia, a neighbor, also said she thought the crash was thunder from an overnight storm.
“I woke up and there was a big boom,” she said.
The crash occurred less than four miles from the U.S. Postal Service processing facility at 24 Research Parkway in Wallingford.
Local police are working with state police to reconstruct the accident. The home will be deemed uninhabitable until structural damage is assessed, officials said.
The truck’s fuel tanks were damaged, causing fuel to spill into the backyard, but no waterways were impacted, Noonan said. The tanks were carrying about 50 gallons of fuel. Representatives from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also responded. The tractor-trailer is owned by Davis Mail Services and was contracted by the United States Postal Service, Cossette said.
Crews from Nelcon Towing & Recovery first towed the three other damaged vehicles away. Crews then cut away items under the trailer, clearing a path for it to be pulled backward.