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'It's bigger than a miracle,' crash survivor says

February 19, 2012

Photo by Ted Lutz Bruce Peterson hugs his 26-year-old daughter, Ashley in front of the remains of their residence at Route 66 just south of Kane.

Bruce Peterson no longer has a house.
It was suddenly taken away Saturday when it was struck and destroyed by an out-of-control fully-loaded log truck.
Despite losing his home of 25 years, Peterson is grateful.
The impact miraculously spared his life and the lives of three other family members who were inside the house at the time of the spectacular crash on Route 66 in the Ten Commandments area of Wetmore Township just south of Kane.
"It's bigger than a miracle," Peterson said Sunday with tears in his eyes. "Somehow, we all made it out alive. God was with us."
Peterson escaped serious injury along with his wife, Debbie, their 26-year-old daughter, Ashley Peterson and their 2-year-old granddaughter, Kianna Jones. The family's pet dog "Angus" also survived and sustained only minor injuries.
The Petersons and their daughter and granddaughter resided together in the two-story wood-frame house at 5976 Route 66.
Only a pile of debris remains at the site.
Because the impact caused such major structural damage, Chittester Excavating of Kane was summoned Saturday afternoon to demolish the hazardous building.
Peterson said the remainder of his shattered house "fell down" after it was "barely touched" by the excavation equipment.
Peterson said he and his granddaughter, who will celebrate her third birthday next month, were "brushing our teeth together" in an upstairs bathroom at the time of the impact about 9:15 a.m. Saturday.
"It was like a big bomb went off," Peterson said in describing the noise made by the truck smashing into the north side of his house. He said the house "kept shaking."
"It was like being in an earthquake that was making the world end," he said.
Peterson said his first thought was to protect his granddaughter.
"I grabbed her and we laid on the floor," he said. "I kept her beneath me so nothing would fall on top of her."
Peterson said the jarring impact caused the stairwell to the second floor to "crumble down."
"We were trapped up there," he said.
When the Kane Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene, firefighters extended a ladder to the second floor to reach Peterson and his granddaughter. Peterson said Leo "Jerry" Geibel, the second assistant Kane fire chief, first carried his granddaughter to safety before returning to help him down the ladder.
See full article by purchasing the Feb. 20 edition of The Kane Republican.

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