Three people were hospitalized with minor injuries after a car struck a Jeep this morning in Marilla, causing a nearby house to catch fire.
The westbound Dodge Avenger struck the northbound Jeep at the intersection of Bullis and Eastwood roads, sending both vehicles tumbling onto a nearby front lawn where the Jeep, resting on its passenger side, burst into flames.
"It was just a pop and I ran out," said Liz Breyer, who was drinking her morning coffee before the Jeep hurtled into her porch. "I opened my front door and there was a car near the porch and the girl was screaming, so you know we needed to call 911. They really needed to get her out because the car just went up in flames."
Breyer, her daughter and her brother-in-law exited out the back door as the flames melted the porch's siding.
The 19-year-old Alden driver screamed from the Jeep until Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Weiss and Marilla resident Steve Kibler arrived on the scene.
"I could see smoke," Weiss said. "As I assessed it, more flames came out of the passenger compartment. At that point, I decided to take her out of the vehicle."
Weiss and Kibler then pulled an 18-year-old woman and the 43-year-old woman driver, both from Attica, from the Avenger.
All three were taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center with minor injuries, said Sheriff's officials, who are withholding names pending notification of the families.
Breyer gathered with two neighbors across the road, her manicured lawn now a mess of melted plastic, shattered glass and sleeping bags and other items from the charred Jeep's trunk. The Avenger's bumper, ripped off the car, lay about 10 feet away at the intersection.
"I hope that she's not hurt any worse [than we saw]," Breyer said of the Jeep's driver. "She was just scared."