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A Car Crashed Into My House!

4. September 2009

This was the email my wife sent out this morning.

For those of you who know about the events of yesterday, just wanted to let you know—we are all okay.  Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers.  For those of you that don’t know:  Yesterday afternoon/evening, I was at home with the girls and Zach was on his way home from work.  Between 5:10 and 5:15 p.m., I went into the nursery and changed Charlotte’s diaper while Caroline sat at her little table in our kitchen.  I walked out of the nursery and put Charlotte in her exersaucer in front of the TV armoire in the living room.  When I stepped into the kitchen, I heard an “explosion.” The baby monitor in the office was up to almost full volume as Charlotte had just gotten up from her nap at 4:30 and I was working in there, so I wanted to listen for her. It started roaring.  Our smoke alarm started shrieking.  Caroline started crying and screaming “What is that, Mommy?” I ran back through the house to the nursery and smoke/dust was pouring out everywhere.  I saw headlights through the debris and realized that vehicle has crashed through our house.  I immediately had visions of it bursting into flames.  Caroline had followed me, so I turned around, grabbed her arm and led her to Charlotte, who amazingly wasn’t even crying. I picked up the baby, got my cell phone off the kitchen counter and we all three went outside.  (I even had enough wits about me to put Zoë in the back yard!) I called 911 once we got out the door, and as I walked further out in front of my house, I saw my next door neighbor was also on her cell phone (with 911). Another neighbor asked if anyone else was in the house and if I’d seen the driver of the vehicle.  He went inside to see if he could see anyone.  About that time, the driver tried to put the vehicle in reverse—which of course, got her nowhere.  I stepped around the side of the house and saw the end of a black, Jeep Cherokee barely sticking out.  It had driven through the nursery, shattering the crib against the wall leading into the hallway, and crushing the changing table into the wall adjoining Caroline’s room.  That wall was also knocked down and Caroline’s dresser was pushed on top of her bed.  I cannot imagine how fast the driver must have hit our house to have that much force and to get almost her entire Jeep inside the house. The driver somehow got out of her Jeep and was unharmed.  When the police, fire dept, EMS arrived, a crowd of neighbors and friends had as well.  They ordered everyone back, as gasoline was leaking from the Jeep.  They also turned off the power, gas and water to our house.  The police administered a sobriety test to the woman, and she failed, so she was immediately driven away in handcuffs.  Zach pulled up about 15 minutes after “impact,” but our neighbor had called him on his cell phone and warned him what he would be coming home too and also that the girls and I were okay.

We are so fortunate to have such wonderful friends, family, church family and neighbors.  Zach’s aunt went to McDonald’s and got us dinner a little after 7:00, as we’d completely forgotten about dinner time!  Caroline went to play with some other kids at one neighbor’s house, and Charlotte went to another neighbors, where we brought them a bottle from the fridge and the bottle warmer and they were able to feed her.  People immediately starting picking up pieces of furniture and moving them out of the way.  They grabbed little things (picture frames, stuffed animals) out of the debris, and by 8:00 last night, we had 2x4’s, 4x4’s, plywood and tarp up so there is not a gaping hole on the side of the house.  Neither one of the doors to the girls’ bedrooms are still attached, so there is a tarp on the other side, covering those as well.  I haven’t really been in the rooms, and we won’t start official clean-up until an insurance adjuster gets out here to assess the damages, but I believe most everything in both of the closets is okay.  We did get a couple drawers of clothing from Charlotte’s dresser, and the 3 drawers of clothing from Caroline’s.  After the adjuster comes, we’ll go through the rooms more thoroughly and see what can be salvaged, as far as items like toys and décor.  All furniture (including the bookshelf Zach stained himself) and bedding in Charlotte’s room are a complete loss, as is the dresser and Caroline’s bedding. Again, it could’ve been SO much worse, though. No damage was done to any other part of the house. We have water and electricity and were able to stay here last night.  (Charlotte slept in the pack-n-play in the living room and Caroline slept on a borrowed toddler mattress beside our bed.) We are doing okay this morning, and are actually headed to take Caroline to her first day of gymnastics.  (Zach is staying here with Charlotte and guys getting estimates to fix things.)




The Grand Cherokee is almost completely INSIDE the house.


ALMOST missed that tree.


Looks like snow on the hood.  The railing at the bottom is the baby crib!


The wind shield is broken.


Now that is a tow truck.


See the crib (in pieces) on the opposite side of the room, and part of the changing table towards the left.


The "nursing" chair (with stereo from the floor) and crib mattress, where Charlotte was asleep 45 minutes before.


My neighbor starting the repair process to the wall. The lamp in the corner is on CAROLINE'S nightstand.


Parts of the car left in the yard. Part of the crib to the right.

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The blue patch.

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The patch from the inside, standing by Caroline's bed. The mirror was knocked off her dresser.

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Caroline's room

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