NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A miracle in Gravesend, Brooklyn has now turned into a police investigation.
No one was injured when a driver slammed into a building, causing part of it to collapse.
The man behind the wheel is now facing criminal charges.
The driver was arrested and charged with leaving the scene and driving with alcohol in his system below the age of 21.
The building must be vacated, along with the neighboring building. Crews are building a wall along the sidewalk so they can get started with the cleanup.
The driver, Andrew Baird, just turned 20 Tuesday.
Buried under the debris Tuesday night is a car. Somehow Baird made it out alive – and ran.
Police say they found him a few blocks away from the scene looking disoriented.
Police told CBS2 he admitted he was behind the wheel of a 2018 BWM when he lost control and crashed around 11:40 p.m. Monday in Gravesend. He allegedly had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol.
Surveillance video shows the car speeding down Avenue P before turning left onto East Fifth Street and smashing into the building on the corner.
The vacant storefront on the ground floor crumbled, and the apartments on the second floor collapsed. Fortunately, no one was home.
“I saw the house shake, because I was already sleeping, and I got up. Oh my god, I felt like something was going to happen. It sounded like an explosion,” neighbor Diana Ramirez told CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas.
“We tried to look before to help, but couldn’t see anybody,” another neighbor added.
Police said, despite being injured, Baird ran from the scene. Members of a Jewish community watch group caught him and turned him over to authorities. It’s still unclear whether there may have been a passenger who also took off.
“There’s always accidents on Avenue P, whether it’s over here or over there,” said Benjamin Hayon, who works nearby. “Avenue P is just always accident-prone for some reason. It doesn’t make sense, but it is.”
More than 100 first responders arrived on the scene, and firefighters used a drone to help conduct a search.
The Department of Buildings says when the car traveled inside the building, it dislodged several vertical supports, causing the collapse.
The Red Cross is assisting residents from the damaged building and the one next door who are not allowed to return home.
Ramirez said her family had to wait outside for hours before they were given the all-clear.
“’You can’t go into your house, get what you need and come back out.’ They told police to take us up if everything was OK, and we came back out,” she said.
Baird was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No one else was seriously injured.