Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies say the van slammed into a house on Hellman and Evelyn avenues around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. There were five people inside, including Will Fonseca.
"The first thing I heard was this loud thud. It was like two more loud thuds, and the second loud thud was the car coming into the house. The first one was the car hitting the cars outside," he said.
Fonseca says the van was going east on Hellman Avenue when it first hit a parked SUV. The owner of the vehicle, Phat Ma, woke up to find his damaged Toyota.
"Luckily no one was there," he said.
When the van slammed into the house, it came with such force that the sofa that was in front of the window ended up on the other side of the room, Fonseca said.
Maria Alvarez was sitting on that couch with her sister and pregnant daughter-in-law. They all left the room just three minutes before the crash.
The driver was found passed out at the wheel and arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Residents don't see the crash as a sad event, but as a Thanksgiving blessing.
"It just gives us more things to be thankful for. We're here, we're alive and we're well," Fonseca said. "That's really what matters."