An elderly woman and her son survive a frightening accident in South Attleboro Thursday. A second floor deck collapsed with the 79–year–old underneath, and her son was standing on top.
The deck ripped right off the side of the house, and the elderly woman was just seconds away from being crushed underneath it.
Silvina Martins' eye was still swollen shut Friday, and she was having a hard time even making her morning coffee.
"I feel so tired," said Silvina.
The deck ripped off her son's house around seven Thursday night and collapsed on top of the 79 year old.
"When I looked over, I saw her lying on the ground with a big bump on her head," said Silvina's son John Martins.
He was on the deck when it gave way.
"I didn't know for sure whether I was going to be able to ride the fall, and not get hurt myself, so luckily I didn't," said John, "I got a couple of scratches, one on my elbow, one on my foot."
John was lucky, and so was his mom. Silvina wasn't fully under the deck when it fell. She usually sits on a chair right underneath it, which is now completely crushed.
"If she had been standing under the deck when it came down, she definitely wouldn't be here right now," said John.
The deck is two decades old and John said it was starting to pull away from the house. He had planned to work it on it this weekend, but this happened first.
"If it's built right and it's maintained properly, decks shouldn't fall off of houses," said city inspector Fred Bray, "Unfortunately in this case, it was never connected properly in the first place, and it was only a matter of time before it was going to fail."
Even so, local building inspectors said, believe it or not, decks are the number one structural failure in a home, so this collapse isn't rare.
It's is enough of a concern that city inspectors had been going door to door Friday in the neighborhood to see if any other decks were built like John Martins'. They are warning those homeowners to get their decks checked by a licensed contractor.