No injuries in crash that damaged Rutland Town home
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | January 23,2013
Anthony Edwards / Staff Photo
Police said the driver of a vehicle fled after crashing into this house on Cedar Lane in Rutland Town on Tuesday night.
Lenny Montuori, better known as “Big Lenny” to his Rutland region customers, was sitting in his office Tuesday night when his home exploded around him.
“I was hit by all kinds of shrapnel and everything went black,” Montuori said standing outside his partially wrecked home at 230 Cedar Lane in Rutland Town. “I turned on the flashlight on my phone and said ‘Oh my god, the whole front of the house is gone.’”
The northwest corner of Montuori’s two-story home was reduced to rubble at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when a red Chevrolet Cavalier with Vermont plates crashed into the building. The narrow rural road in front of the home was choked with fire trucks, ambulances and police vehicles an hour later as law enforcement searched for the driver who fled the scene.
Montuori, who sells hotdogs and sausages from a mobile stand, said he was uninjured in the crash and his girlfriend, Susan Shaw, who was in the kitchen at the time of the crash, said she and the couple’s two dogs were okay as well.
“It’s a miracle. The couch sits right in that corner and that’s where the dogs always sit,” she said.
A young woman who the couple say was a passenger in the Cavalier appeared uninjured as well as police interviewed her in a nearby cruiser.
But the welfare and the whereabouts of the driver were unknown at 7:30 p.m. — about an hour after the young man reportedly behind the wheel fled on foot in the direction of Route 7.
Vermont State Police along with Rutland County Sheriff’s Department deputies were patrolling the roadways and a canine unit was called in to attempt a track.
The identity of the passenger wasn’t immediately available. Shaw said the woman didn’t attempt to flee and was texting on her phone after the crash. Shaw also said the woman told her she didn’t know the driver.
The couple said the driver repeatedly apologized before running away.
“He kept saying ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,’” Montouri said.
“He said he had to go get help,” Shaw added. “I said ‘Honey, I wouldn’t leave.’”