AUGUSTA — A family is unable to stay in their home on Sewall Street after a car crashed into its basement Monday night, damaging the building’s foundation and seriously injuring the driver.

One of the residents, Desiree Chabot, said she was watching a movie on Monday night when she heard the screech of tires, followed by a pause that seemed to last 30 seconds.

“Then I heard a bang, and I literally felt like I was in an earthquake,” she said. “Everything was shaking. The walls were shaking.”

The car, a 2007 Toyota Camry, had left Sewall Street and traveled more than 100 feet down a steep wooded embankment and into the outer wall of their basement.

Three other people were also there on Monday night: Chabot’s 2-year-old son, Reid; her teenage niece Andrea; and her mother, Laurie Chabot, who owns the home at 128 Sewall St. The home is just south of the Maine State House.

“My son was sleeping,” Desiree Chabot said. “I checked on him. I ran downstairs to make sure everything else was OK. My mom was lying down in bed. I woke her up. I had Andrea run up the stairs to get Reid. I went outside. I called 911. It was very chaotic.”

All of them were uninjured, but they, along with other family members who were not home at the time of the crash, are now staying in a hotel until a structural engineer can inspect the building next week, Chabot said. They don’t know how much repair will cost or when they’ll be able to go back. The driver of the car, 33-year-old Seth Mieres, was badly injured and was still in the hospital Wednesday afternoon, according to Sgt. Christian Behr, of the Augusta Police Department. Behr did not know Mieres’ medical condition.

Police are continuing to investigate what caused the car to crash, shortly before 11 p.m. Monday as it traveled north on Sewall Street. Behr said he didn’t know how the car managed to end up in the basement of the home.

This car crashed into a home late Monday night on Sewall Street in Augusta. The driver was injured, and the occupants of the home were forced to stay in a hotel because of the damage from the crash. Photo courtesy of Statewide Towing Inc.

Based on what Desiree Chabot saw and heard that night, she thinks the car was driving fast, hit the curb on their side of the road, and left the ground before hitting their basement.

A chain-link fence on the edge of their property is still standing, which makes Chabot think the car flew over it. Its back end struck the basement, meaning the vehicle might have spun around at some point, she said. It also somehow managed to clear a stream while going through the gully.

“You can see it got air,” Chabot said.

A picture taken at the crash scene by Statewide Towing Inc. shows that the car was about halfway into the home by the time it stopped.

Two tow trucks and lots of wire rope were needed to pull the Camry out of the gully without damaging the home further, according to Toby Watson, the owner of Statewide Towing. A tarpaulin now covers the hole in the side of the Chabot residence.

“It was extremely challenging,” Watson said.

Both Watson and Chabot said that they hope the driver, Mieres, recovers from his injuries.

Chabot thinks the damage could have been worse. The basement is filled with televisions and boxes of things that used to belong to her father, who died last year. If that stuff hadn’t been there, she said, the Camry might have gone farther into the home and hit its furnace.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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