SPRING HILL (FOX 13) - In Hernando County, the community is in shock after an elderly man suffered a medical episode and crashed his car into a Spring Hill home Tuesday morning.
Troopers say Domingo Rivera, 86, was westbound on Elston Street when he suffered an unspecified medical problem and lost control of his car. The Chevy Impala drove off the road and hit a fire hydrant before slamming into a home along Irondale Avenue.
Rivera's friend and neighbor was just a few houses down when the crash happened and was the first on the scene. He called 911 and attempted to help Rivera, but Rivera's injuries were too severe. He later died at a local hospital.
"He was my buddy, a great guy. We used to hang out in the garage, talk and smoke food together," said Brian, Rivera's friend.
However, as his neighbors mourn his death, there is also a sense of heartbreaking relief. The renter who lives in the damaged house said it was a miracle her children were not in the room when the crash happened.
"When I noticed it [the house] was ours, I was like 'what happened?' And to come to realize that he [my son[ could have been in there when that happened because this just happened a couple of hours ago. Really, God was just so faithful," said Marlyne Castano, the current renter of the house.
The family is in the process of moving out of the house, but they had left beds and toys in the room for their children to play. That room is now completely demolished and in shambles. Castano said she and her children were actually supposed to be in the house cleaning when the crash happened. However, she said she got held up at a friends house, which ultimately saved her children's lives.
As neighbors continue to grieve the death of a friend, Castano is hugging her children a little bit tighter.
An investigation into the crash is ongoing, but FHP stated it appears to be the result of simply an unfortunate and tragic accident. No foul play is suspected.