October 20, 2014

Medina
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Lodi pastor watches as truck crashes into house

LODI — A village pastor got some new material for his next sermon on divine providence.

L. David Dake, pastor of First Congregational Church, was driving home at about 3 p.m. Jan. 30 after picking up his 16-year-old daughter, Kelsey, and a friend from Cloverleaf High School when he saw a 1997 Chevrolet 1500 pickup heading in the opposite direction veer across High Street, run through Dake’s yard and ram into his home’s attached garage.

L. David Dake, left, points out damage to his garage at 116 High St., in Lodi, on Wednesday morning to Patrick Scandlon of Memory Builders Inc., Lafayette Township. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE GRAZIER)

“I’ve driven enough to see that really crazy, unexpected things happen,” Dake said. “I saw him coming up the road swerving and said, ‘What’s this guy doing? Oh, my goodness. Lord help us!’ ”

Lodi Police Chief Keith Keough said the driver of the truck, Thomas Arters, 74, of Redfield Street, has a medical condition and was stricken, causing the accident. He was not charged.

Dake said Arters is a neighbor and acquaintance. He said he was grateful there were no injuries.

No one was inside Dake’s home, 116 High St., at the time of the accident.

The crash caused at least $10,000 worth of damage to the home and property, Keough said.

“The impact partially moved the garage off its foundation,” the chief said. He estimated the pickup was going about 25 mph when it hit the garage.

The collision caused damage to the roof of the garage and partial cracking of material connecting the garage and home. The truck also took out some bushes in the yard.

Keough said the truck probably was a total loss.

“His radiator was pushed all the way back into the engine,” the chief said. “The truck didn’t look too good.”

Dake suggested the shrubs helped to reduce the driver’s speed prior to striking the garage. He said it was a “blessing” that the driver struck the far end of the structure. A few feet farther to the right is a steep embankment.

“The truck hit a ditch and spun out. So I think the bushes softened the blow he took,” Dake said.

Drake said he may use the crash as an example in a sermon.

“There are certainly applications and illustration here,” the pastor said. “Life certainly preaches well.”

Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.