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March 10, 2010 - 7:37pm

South Main Street family wonders what's next after losing home in accident

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, South Main Street.


It's going to be a struggle to get through the next month, says Robin Lewin. She, her husband and two teenage daughters are living in an RV parked in the driveway of 28 South Main St., Batavia.

The house they rented there was knocked off its foundation Monday afternoon when it was struck by a truck reportedly driven 19-year-old Louis M. Reeb, of Corfu.

Reeb has not been charged with any crimes yet, but Lewin said investigators have been asking her and her husband questions.

Reeb remains in Strong Memorial Hospital in satisfactory condition.

condemned.jpgThe pickup slammed into the west side of the two-unit house and demolished the steps leading to the second-floor entryway. Two-by-fours now prop up the west wall.  The east wall is bowed and the cinder-block chimney is cracked at the seams between two blocks.

The second-floor tenant, Luz Castro, was nearly struck by the truck as she waited outside for her daughter's school bus. We have no word on where Castro is staying now, but the Lewin family is preparing to move.

They are getting their belongings out of the portion of the house they are allowed to access (at least one room is locked off because of safety concerns) and moving them to storage.

"I don’t know what we’re going to do," Lewin said. "My youngest daughter’s got three more months to graduate and after that we were going to leave state."

This month, she said, they don't really have enough money for necessities. Her mother, Barbara Waterstraw, a Newark resident, was visiting Monday and in the house at the time of the accident. She has sent some money to help, but Lewin said it's still not enough.

Her husband David works in landscaping, but that business hasn't started for the season yet.

David and Robin have two daughters, Amanda, who has graduated high school, and Danielle, who attends Batavia High.

"We’ll be fine by next month and then we’ll have money for heat and food and stuff like that," Lewin said. "We’ll be fine. It’s just that this month we’ll be struggling with everything."

It was a twist of fate that Robin was even home the day of the accident. She had originally been scheduled for heart surgery in Rochester, which was why her mother was in town, but after further examination that morning, her doctor determined the surgery was unnecessary.

"I was thinking, what would happen if he did the surgery and the girls were in the house all by themselves?" Lewin said. "They were going to stay by themselves for one night. I thank God that he let me come home. I just thank God nothing happened to them."

Daniel Crofts
Daniel Crofts's picture
Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: Nov 13 2009 - 8:21pm
Is there anything we in the community can do to help them?
Jeremy Yasses
Jeremy Yasses's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: Feb 11 2010 - 10:45am
I have apartments in the city of Batavia that are available now. Some even include utilities. Call me for details at 585-343-3755
Janice Stenman
Janice Stenman's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: Mar 8 2009 - 2:15pm
Any idea how much this family needs? Surely Batavia can help if people know how.
Howard B. Owens
Howard B. Owens's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 20 min ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm
I'm not sure, but I'm guessing they'll be out of their current location today some time. I don't know of any formal way to get assistance to them, so anybody that wants to help might want to stop by there this morning.
Donna Jackett
Donna Jackett's picture
Last seen: 12 years 3 months ago
Joined: May 4 2008 - 11:07am
Come on Batavia, these people need help from their community. Who is their councilperson? Batavia is not like other towns where everyone pitches in and helps one another.
barb king
barb king's picture
Last seen: 3 days 13 hours ago
Joined: Jan 29 2010 - 4:27pm
Donna, as soon as you talk to them and post a list of their needs I bet you'll see people stepping up.
Janice Stenman
Janice Stenman's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: Mar 8 2009 - 2:15pm
Howard, can you move this up on the page and give an update to keep this in people's minds? I don't know these people at all, but I am willing to make a cash donation.
Chelsea O'Brien
Chelsea O'Brien's picture
Last seen: 7 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 15 2009 - 10:45am
We have two extra bedrooms available at our house. We alos have three cats and a dog, but if that isn't a problem, we are more than willing to let you stay until you're back on your feet. We just ask that you help us pay the extra utilities and food. You can email me dobsonDOTchelseaATgmailDOTcom

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