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Peabody police issue criminal citation to teen whose car crashed into home

Posted by Justin Rice  December 15, 2011 01:07 PM

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Peabody Police issued the teenage driver whose car crashed into a Peabody home early Sunday morning with a criminal citation yesterday.   

Robert Habeeb, Jr. was issued a criminal motor vehicle citation for operating a motor vehicle recklessly so as to endanger, according to Peabody Police Spokesman Michael Crane.  

“The investigation is open, no further information,” Crane said via email this afternoon.

Habeeb’s car burst into flames before firefighters pulled him from his burning sedan, authorities said, around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. The car flipped on its side and propelled the engine from the car onto the front lawn, where it continued running.

Habeeb’s father, Robert Habeeb, Sr. said his son fell asleep at the wheel.

“Falling asleep while you’re driving is evidently a criminal offense,” the elder Habeeb said during a telephone interview this afternoon. “It is what it is if it’s illegal. The fact that nobody got hurt is really what counts.

“We’re just reveling in the fact that he’s alive right now and we’re going to deal with it in the in the next week or something. Our main concern is he’s OK and we haven’t even addressed that issue.”

After the crash, the 18-year-old Peabody High student had bruises, a sore and a swollen leg, a sore back, burns on his knuckles, a bruised spleen, and throat irritated from inhaling smoke.

The elder Habeeb said today that his son’s back is still sore and he might return to school tomorrow or Monday.

He said his son and his wife went to the fire station yesterday to thank the firefighters who saved him.

Firefighters had to pull the younger Habeeb through the front window of the car. The owners were not home at the time of the crash, but, after assessing the scene, Lynch estimated damage to the house at about $50,000.

Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.

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