When they tell the joke “Your dad read in the newspaper that most accidents happen within 20 miles of your home, so we moved,” I don’t think they had car accidents in mind. But in my house, that’s probably closer to the truth.
You see, people have driven into houses I’ve lived in on three separate occasions.
The first two times I can’t remember, because I was only a baby when our house in Portland was hit. The last time was 2 years ago in December. Right before Christmas.
It was around 11am on a Saturday, and I was on my way home from getting food at Subway. At the stop light I saw an ambulance with its siren on leaving my street. At first I didn’t think anything of it – my neighbors across the street at the time were crazy. The cops were at their house almost every month for a while. Just two months earlier, a team of officers decked out in bullet proof vests and toting automatic rifles had used my roommates truck as a shield during a standoff with the woman inside her house. (For the record, I actually live in a decent neighborhood – mostly retired people and families with kids, so that came as a pretty big surprise).
But the longer I sat at the light the more I began to panic. For some reason I knew they had been coming from my house.
I can’t really describe what happened next. I pulled up to the house and stopped dead in the middle of the street. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a car. And my house. There was a car in my freaking house.
Apparently, minutes before I arrived home, my neighbor from across the street (the boyfriend of the one who’d had the earlier standoff) had been on his way home as well. For some reason, instead of going straight, he made a left turn in the middle of the road, drove through my next door neighbor’s yard, ran over a small tree, and hit the brick planters in front of my house which spun the car out of control and into the front bedroom. He was injured, but not seriously, and released from the hospital two days later.
Luckily, when the impact hit the cats had scattered to safety and hid, instead of escaping in all of the commotion. My roommate’s dog had an extremely narrow escape, having just been shut into the room that was hit but was able to get out when the impact burst the door open. My roommate herself avoided serious injury by mere seconds – her head had been right next to the wall that was hit as she bent over to pick something up off her bedroom floor. We didn’t take pictures of the inside until most of the furniture was cleared out, but basically everything was thrown across the room.
As the commotion began to die down, my parents arrived, the car was towed away, and cleanup began. We managed to board up the house for the most part, and in January we moved into a hotel for a little over a month while everything was fixed.
The most mysterious part of the whole thing? We still have no idea how or why it happened. Neighbors down the street reported hearing his car speeding, so it’s possible he was just driving recklessly and lost control. Unfortunately, he died of liver failure just weeks later, and because she wasn’t on the lease, the woman was evicted.
I can’t say I was unhappy to get new neighbors however…after four years of regular visits from the police, it’s nice to have finally some peace and quiet on this street!
Do you have any crazy neighbor stories? Has anyone ever driven into your house?