Authorities investigate how dump truck crashed into Elkhorn home

Nebraska State Patrol looking into how the driver lost control of the vehicle.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 8:00 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Elkhorn couple got the surprise of a lifetime Tuesday, but not one they ever wanted. After a day of golfing, they came home to find a dump truck, full of rock, lodged in their bedroom.

Felix Recek, a next-door neighbor and president of the Arbor Ridge II Homeowner’s association near 204th & Maple, described the startling moment he realized something wasn’t right.

“It was a loud BOOM!” he said. “And then I thought it sounded like a truck was driving by...and it was.”

When Recek looked out of his back patio, he saw a downed pole with power lines connected, and a dump truck crashed into the house next door.

Recek, a retired Omaha Fire Captain, said he recognized the driver from his years of service with the department.

He immediately ran over to check on the man whom he said was in shock, but overall seemed to be ok.

Witness reports described the driver as asleep throughout the incident, claiming the man in his seventies was traveling north, along Highway 81.

He swerved into oncoming traffic, slid down a residential culvert and then several hundred yards until slamming into the home of Kathy & Lee Arends.

“It was like holy tamole...only it wasn’t tamole,” said Kathy, who jokingly described her verbal shock as unfit for television.

She and her husband were home about a half hour before the incident and decided to go out for lunch before settling in for the day.

“We went to Good Life for margaritas. It was Taco Tuesday. We sat down and around 4:30 and then a neighbor called and said ‘you need to get home. A truck drove into your house,’” Kathy explained.

The couple could hardly believe it. They’d only lived there for two years after retiring and said they had just began creating memories.

By the time they arrived, caution tape was surrounding their home, with Omaha Police, Douglas County Sheriff’s, firefighters, tow trucks, OPPD and other personnel assessing the scene.

bedroom floor completely ripped apart after crash
bedroom floor completely ripped apart after crash(WOWT)

The impact of the crash was so great, part of the dump truck went through their bedroom floor and the driver side tires were hanging through the basement ceiling.

“The driver crawled out of the passenger seat to get out of the truck. Otherwise he would’ve had to climb over our bed,” said Lee Arends.

It’s still unclear how the man lost control.

The couple said they had few words with the driver, other than to say they were glad he was ok. They also said he apologized to them several times.

The man was taken to a hospital, but authorities have not released any further updates on him or whether he will be cited.

As NSP and Omaha Police investigate the crash, the couple is staying at a long term hotel and going home each day to grab toiletries and other necessities.

“We’re doing a lot adulting. We’re retired and we should be playing, not adulting,” said Kathy.

Despite waves of emotion from the shock, the couple is managing to stay positive and even maintain a sense of humor.

“I thought my golf game was the worst thing that happened. This is bad,” Kathy joked.

Both say they are just happy to be alive and plan to move back into their home after insurance assesses the damage and they can have everything repaired.

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