EVERETT -- Rescue crews Sunday afternoon worked to free a driver trapped in his van after the vehicle smashed into an apartment complex.
The driver of a blue minivan traveling eastbound on Merrill Creek Parkway about 3:20 p.m. lost control at Hardeson Road, went down a steep embankment and crashed into the corner of a building at The Greens at Merrill Creek Apartments, Everett Police Sgt. Robert Goetz said.
Police believe the driver, a man in his 70s, had suffered a medical emergency just before the crash.
Medics transported the driver to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening, Goetz said. No one else was hurt.
Vonnie Jones, 26, was at home alone doing homework on her computer when she felt her entire bottom-floor apartment tremble. "I heard a loud smashing sound and my whole apartment shook," Jones said.
The van hit her daughter's bedroom, right where 5-year-old Khylee likes to play, Jones said. The girl was out with her aunt. "That really scared me," Jones said.
Rescue crews used three or four different pieces of equipment to get the driver out, Everett Fire Battalion Chief Roger Westlund said. "It was a very challenging extrication that took around 45 minutes. He was so tightly packed in there," he said.
Rescuers eventually pulled the man out the back of the van, Westlund said. "The crews did a nice job."
The van was also leaking gas but firefighters took care of that quickly, Westlund said.
About an hour after the crash, a faint smell of gas lingered. "(The gas) was just pouring out," Jones said.
While crews were working to tear the wrecked van away from the wall of the building, Jones stood outside, in shorts, waiting to get back into her home to see the damage. "It really shook me up," she said.