Milwaukee police have not yet found a reason for an auto accident that injured several members of a family of five having an evening meal in a south side apartment. Police do not suspect that the driver of the van was under the influence of alcohol when she crashed her minivan into the Wilson Park Garden Apartments on South 20th Street near West Layton Avenue.

Reports from emergency responders and accident-scene witnesses say the van driver lost control entering the housing complex and drove directly into the front window of a street-level apartment. The battalion chief of the Milwaukee Fire Department said the van crashed “nearly through the building.”

According to the 17-year-old son and brother of the accident victims, four of his family members were hit by the van when it crashed through the living room including his mother, who remains in critical condition. His three sisters were also hit by the van. The young man said that he was on the phone and his family was seated at the dinner table when the crash occurred.

When he saw that his mother had been trapped under the van, the son enlisted the help of more than a dozen neighbors to try to lift the van off of her. One neighbor estimated that the group spent about 15 minutes working together to free the 40-year-old woman.

The minivan’s driver, identified by investigators only as a woman in her 30s, was not hurt. Police have not made it clear whether charges will be filed against the driver of the van.

Source:, “Van slams into apartment, mother in critical condition,” 12 July 2011