11 News has learned that a house hit by a minivan Monday has been hit before. Now, the family is left cleaning up the mess.
With a new power pole in place Tuesday, the family who owns the house on corner of Euclid and Northern is looking at the damage to their home. Monday night it was hit by a car after police say the driver was speeding.
The minivan crashed through a power pole, into the backyard, plowing right into the back of house. The force caused the power pole to come crashing down.
“When it hit the ground it went boom. Like an M80 or a stick of dynamite; that loud,” said Fred Gallegos.
Gallegos’ family rents the property. He was in the backyard at the time of the crash.
“You can tell he (the driver) went over something, maybe part of the power pole, and then went straight to the wall; bang,” said Gallegos.
Anthony Mendiola and his family have owned the house since the early 90’s.
“When I got the call I was like really, again?” said Mendiola.
That’s because their house has been hit before. The side of the house was struck by a drunk driver in the mid-90’s.
“Took the air conditioner out, and we have trees along the side, it took all the trees out,” said Mendiola.
And he can’t count the number of times cars have raced through their yards, both the front and the back. Tire marks still left on their sidewalk from an incident in December.
“Every winter you can bet that there is a car coming through,” said Mendiola.
Mendiola calls the trend a “big headache” and believes it’s partly because the section of Northern between Beulah and Euclid does not get a lot of sun, so it stays icy longer.
He also attributes it to drivers not following the speed limit. Even Gallegos says they hear cars racing through the neighborhood often.
With Monday’s crash causing at least $30,000 in damage, many involved think action needs to be taken to make it a safer intersection. They recommend lowering the speed limit or increasing enforcement.
Mendiola just wants drivers to take responsibility behind the wheel.
“If this would have been summer, daytime, kids playing in the backyard, somebody could have been killed. People just need to be careful and just pay more attention on the road,” said Mendiola.
These homeowners are taking measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again. They are putting up cement pillars in their backyard and landscape boulders out front to protect their house from being hit again.
The accident caused 15 homes to lose power for several hours Monday night. Police say the driver was going at least 60 in a 30 mile per hour zone. The male driver told police he was trying to swerve to avoid hitting an animal and accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes. An eyewitness confirmed that he didn’t hit the brakes until after he hit the pole.
Investigators do not have an update on the accident, but police initially told 11 News the driver would likely be ticketed with reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
Both Mendiola and Gallegos think its impossible for the driver to have gone through a power pole and still caused that much damage to the house by only driving 60 mph. They believe he was going much faster.