NEW HANOVER — A house that was destroyed by an SUV on Thursday already was being renovated because it had been damaged by another car earlier this year.

And it's happened before. So many times, in fact, that the homeowners have been trying to get Burlington County to erect a guardrail along the road.

"In my 20 years, I've been here this is probably the fifth time this has happened over the years," Police Sgt. 1st Class Robert Duff said Thursday.

The latest driver to crash into the house was a 30-year-old Maryland man who was driving fast — and intoxicated — on Cookstown-New Egypt Road, police said.

Michael Schmitt, 31, of Olney, Maryland, hit an embankment, went airborne and drove into a corner of the house. The car went as far as the kitchen in the middle of the single-level home.

SUV Crashes Into House
(North Hanover Police)

No one was home, which has been under construction.

Duff said the house was "completely destroyed" by the crash.

The owner will likely demolish the house and sell the property, according to Duff.

The driver was taken to a Deborah Heart and Lung and consented to a blood test.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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