LIVERMORE FALLS — A local woman and four children escaped serious injury Wednesday when a minivan they were riding in lost its brakes and went through a garage and into a house.

Melanie York, 37, of 30 Spring St., was driving down Spring Street, a steep road, at 12:19 p.m. when the brakes failed to work, Livermore Falls police officer Steve Allen said.

When York came down the hill and hit the brakes, the pedal went to the floor, Livermore Falls fire Chief Gerry Pineau said.

The van crossed High Street, crashed through a one-car garage at 12 High St., continued down an embankment and wedged into a house at 13 School St., Pineau said. The two properties abut each other.

Firefighters helped get York and her children, a 10-year-old girl, 3-year-old twin boys and a 2-year-old boy out of the vehicle and up a 25-foot embankment, Pineau said.

The driver and passengers suffered minor scrapes and bruises but nothing life-threatening, Pineau said. They were checked out at the scene by NorthStar Emergency Medical Services personnel. Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. took the York family home.

Allie Bond’s Autobody was called to remove the van from the house. Bond hooked a tow-truck cable onto the van and pulled it out of the house, up the embankment and back through the small garage.

The whole back of the garage, owned by Wayne and Pat Knowlton, was missing.

Pineau estimated damages at nearly $40,000.

The children were all in proper restraints, including car seats, Pineau said. “We’re just fortunate that nobody had serious injuries out of this,” he said.

High Street neighbors Adam and Nicole Hennessey said the crash sounded like a truck with an empty trailer going over bumps in the road.

“We heard the boom,” Nicole Hennessey said.

Adam Hennessey said the family that had lived in the School Street house had moved out in December. It was unclear Wednesday afternoon who now owns the vacant house because it is in transition, Allen said.

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