01 January 2009

Friends Don't Let Friends . . .

drive drunk and crash their cars into other people's houses on New Year's. OK, lame title, but I've only had two hours sleep. The alternative was an über-cliché: "The Griffins started the new year off with a bang."

The bang happened at 2:40am this morning. Carl the insomniac was just falling asleep. I heard what, in retrospect, was clearly a loud crash, behind my head and slightly to the east. Tani jumped straight up in bed and went into a delirious five-alarm panic. Neither of us could process what the noise was, but of course ran out of our room in search. Immediately we heard what sounded like the panic beeper on our car, a horn honking like a car alarm gone off. We processed that, ran to the garage, but it had stopped and our car just looked at us nonplussed.

Tasha was on the couch asleep, her room gutted for repainting. But I stuck my head in her room anyway and noticed a blinking yellow light outside her window. I pressed my face to the glass, looked at the SE corner of the house, saw the blinking yellow light, also halogen light, bits of debris that I registered as perhaps rain gutter. Had something fallen out of the sky onto our house? "Tani, I have to go outside." A knock at the door as I'm running to it, a young man I don't know. "Sir, a car just ran into your house."

"Uh, Tani, call 911."

Direct link to Flickr set

It is a nice car, actually, a blue Dodge Avenger, with no one in it and parked on top of my air conditioning unit. The polite young man and his companions explain: They were coming up the street that intersects Main, ending in a T just behind our house. The Avenger flew by them "doing at least 100" and did not even slow down at Main. It jumped the curb and went through our neighbor's back fence, airborne over 15' of his lawn, landing and careening through the side fence into our house. It was stopped by our south window-well and the AC unit. The driver (a parolee, and drunk) immediately fled the scene.

Policemen, firemen, several concerned neighbors, a nice Questar gas man, all converged on our house until about 5:00am. The vehicle was towed, the police went after the driver. He eventually turned back up at the party he'd left, and the police hurried off to collect him. We estimate the damage at over $10k, but that swanky new car has to be insured. It will be a massive headache, but we do not expect to foot the bill for the carnage. Mostly we just feel very blessed. The car just kissed our gas meter. Six inches to the left would have taken out our gas thingy, maybe in a ball of flame. Six feet to the left would have put him in our bed. This same thing happened to our neighbor on the north two years ago. Just now, we are not liking our home location. I think we need some WW2-era tank traps installed behind our rear fence.

I better have a shower. It may be a long first day to 2009.

1 comment:

Brian Davidson said...

Sweet mother of meat that was a close one.