Crash damages apartment building

NASHUA – Fire officials were forced to evacuate a local apartment building Thursday when a resident accidentally rolled his car from a nearby parking lot into the side of the structure, sending a television in an adjacent apartment flying off its stand.

Police responded to the Woodlands of Nashua apartment complex at 6 Hamlett Drive about 9 p.m. after a resident in the building reported hearing a loud bang that knocked her television onto the floor.

The resident who did not wish to be identified, said she and her son were watching television when the unit flew off its stand.

“At first, I thought the TV exploded,” she said.

After seeing that the television was still working, the resident said she looked at the wall behind it, noticed cracks and spaces and called for help.

The bang turned out to be a white Volkswagen Golf that had slammed into the other side of the resident’s wall after its driver, Pavel Stulov accidentally drove it down a hill and into the building from a nearby parking lot.

Stulov, who lives in Apt. 22 at Woodlands, said he and his wife, Ludmila, were going to buy some groceries, despite his protests that it was late and he was tired.

He said he and his wife were getting ready to leave in the car that was parked at the edge of an elevated parking lot adjacent to the building, when he accidentally put the car into first gear instead of reverse.

No cement parking barrier was in front of the car to help to halt it, and it began making its way down the hill, he said.

Stulov said neither he nor his wife was injured when their car slowly rolled down the hill and hit the building just underneath the resident’s living room window, but both were surprised at the damage it caused.

“The hit itself was so slight,” he said, adding that the airbags in his car had not deployed nor had he been jerked forward by the strike.

Inside the building, residents had a different experience.

“It rocked the floor in one big push,” said Thomas Ferrari, who lives in an upstairs apartment.

The Stulovs and their two children stood in a nearby parking lot with a crowd of about 25 other residents and watched as fire officials surveyed the damage.

After an initial inspection, Deputy Fire Chief Michael Mansfield decided to wait for city building inspector Russell Marcum prior to having the car pulled back up the hill.

“It could be damaged enough that if we move the car, the whole side of the building would come down like a stack of dominoes,” Mansfield said.

Marcum later deemed it safe to move the car after determining that the impact did not cause any major structural damage.

Shortly afterward, a wrecker slowly pulled the car back up to the parking lot, revealing the dented and cracked wall of the building.

The car suffered minor damage.

All of the residents were allowed back inside about 10:30 p.m. after a property representative inspected the damage as well.

Friday, maintenance workers installed several wooden beam supports in the apartment where the car had hit, according to the resident.

The wall was going to have to be replaced, she said.

“We are going to be living in a mess for a while,” she said.

Stephanie Hooper can be reached at 594-6413 or