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Downers Grove couple says they're lucky to be alive after pickup truck blasted through house

Residents say it's a miracle they weren't hurt when pickup truck plowed through house
Residents say it's a miracle they weren't hurt when pickup truck plowed through house 02:08

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (CBS) -- A Downers Grove couple talked to CBS 2 Monday after a pickup plowed right through their house last week.

As CBS 2's Marissa Perlman reported, the couple said they are lucky to be alive after the incident.

On Monday, three days after the accident, the house on Briargate Drive was boarded up. Caution tape remained strung up, tire marks ripped through the grass from after the pickup truck was hauled away, and there were still huge piles of debris in front of the house.

And residents Scott Pillsbury and Niki Jones were shaken up as they came to terms with what happened.

"It was so loud, I thought an airplane or a tornado was going through our house," Pillsbury said.

The vehicle slammed right through the house at 66th Street and Briargate Drive in Downers Grove and went on to hit a tree near a backyard swimming pool and children's playhouse.

Pillsbury and Jones can still vividly hear the noise the crash made.

"Debris flew down the stairs all the way into our office – glass and everything," Pillsbury said. "I looked up, and there was water dripping through the roof, and no wall."

The front and rear exterior load-bearing walls were blown right out into the backyard, along with the contents of the rooms inside. A seemingly endless trail of debris was left behind.

Pillsbury and Jones talked with us from their temporary home – a hotel in Downers Grove. At the time the pickup truck plowed through on Friday, they were home in the basement – and Jones had just walked downstairs to Pillsbury's office to talk dinner plans.

"She asked me one question and then, bam!" Pillsbury said. "The car went through the house."

Pillsbury dove on top of Jones to protect her, and immediately ran up to check on the driver and his passenger.

"Instinct took over and I just wanted to make sure they were okay," Pillsbury said.

Police said the driver, who has not been identified, was having a medical emergency when he drove straight through the home. A woman was in the car with him.

They were both hospitalized, but are expected to recover.

Luckily, in the few seconds it took for the truck to tear through the living room, Jones and Pillsbury were in the basement. They said it was a miracle everyone survived.

"If it was an hour later, both of us would be sitting down at our dining room table that is in many pieces in the backyard," Pillsbury said. "That's all we have been thinking about for the past couple of days – how lucky we really are. It's a miracle."

How lucky were they? If this had happened a few minutes later, they would be sitting at their dining room table – now in pieces. The chairs they would be sitting in were left flattened in the backyard.

The story would have been completely different, in a downright horrific way.

"Somebody was watching over us or something," Pillsbury said.

Pillsbury and Jones have been back to the scene only once – to pick up loose paperwork. They say their family heirlooms and antiques can't be replaced.

But seeing their home in such shambles is too hard.

"Now we're just trying to pick up the pieces," Pillsbury said.

They are also taking away a lesson from surviving the experience.

"Always be grateful for the now and be present in your present moment – you don't know when things will change," Jones said.

Jones was laid off a short time before the accident. Family is now raising money to help Pillsbury and Jones find a place to stay. You can find the GoFundMe here.

Meanwhile, police say their investigation is continuing. There was no word late Monday on the condition of the driver or passenger, or whether anyone will face charges.

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