The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 11, 2013

Home owner gets rude wake-up call

Mankato woman in recliner when SUV crashed into house

MANKATO — Mary Behrens bears some bruises after an SUV crashed into her and husband Charles’ home Thursday afternoon, sending her flying across a room.

“We’re both alive and things can be replaced. It is what it is,” she said Friday morning as an insurance representative assessed the damage to the couple’s uninhabitable Warren Street home.

Mankato police said the SUV, driven by Max Pecht, 64, of Austin was headed west on Balcerzak Drive about 2:15 p.m. when it crossed the intersection at Warren Street and slammed into the house.

The force of the impact sent the vehicle into the living room, striking the recliner Behrens was napping in and propelling it across the floor.

“I woke up to a terrific noise and saw things flying overhead. I saw a hole in the wall, and then a car. At first I didn’t think I was hurt, but I have bruises. I think the good Lord was with us.”

She said her husband was in the kitchen at the time and was struck by some flying debris.

The couple has lived in the home more than 30 years, and Charles Behrens said the only other time a car ventured up close and personal on the highly trafficked street was years ago, when a driver veered into a corner of the garage.

Pecht was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The accident is under investigation.

Damage estimates to the home are being determined, and the couple has secured other lodging.

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