My good friend Kris sent me this video the other day. At first glance, it looks like just another crazy driver losing control of his car in a spectacular way. With no real identifiable landmarks in either clip, it could have taken place anywhere - but Kris knew this video would be of particular interest to me.
What makes this video hit close to home is the fact that the tree upon which the speeding car lands (yes, lands) was planted by my father and is in the yard of the house I grew up in. Unfortunately I do not know any more details about what happened here, but strangely enough this is not the first
time an out-of-control vehicle has crashed into that yard!
Many years ago
when my family still lived in that house we were jarred from sleep in the dead of the night by the sound of a very loud bang. Sleepy-eyed and mystified, we peered out through windows, quickly discovering a vehicle on fire just down the street. My dad, brother and I rushed outside while my mom called 911 where it
was quickly apparent that the truck crashed through the fence on one corner of our property, driven through our back yard, crashed out the fence at the back corner of our property, zoomed across the street, smashed into a house and burst into flames before rolling back down to the pavement where it now sat,
ablaze. Fire trucks arrived quickly thereafter and there was a horrible smell in the air - everyone assuming there was no way the driver could have survived as the flames engulfing the truck were now so hot we could feel the heat of them from our yard. I remember standing there horified, wondering if the driver had
had a heart attack or too much to drink, wondering how old he was (I guess I assumed it was a man), and wondering about his family. The mood quickly changed however when the firemen got the fire out and discovered — not the remains of a driver at the wheel — but an empty seat and a metal pipe wedging
the gas pedal to the floor. We later learned that a couple of kids had stolen the vehicle and that this was not the first time they'd turned a stolen vehicle loose to watch the carnage.
Even Kris, who sent me this video, has been impacted by car crimes. Here's a video from his own house just up the street from where the above video was shot. The parked truck in this clip is his, and the crashing car is stolen.