A quiet neighborhood was shocked Tuesday afternoon after a man drove his car up off the curb and into a neighbor’s lawn hitting two houses.
The crash happened at the corner of Louisa Avenue and Harding Avenue in the Springdale section of Wheeling.
Officials said the man, whose name is not being released at this time, lives in the neighborhood and often parks along Louisa Avenue.
Neighbors reported the man’s car suddenly shot up over the curb, then up over a retaining wall and made two circles in a yard between two houses Tuesday afternoon.
“He drove through the yard twice in circles, and then hit their house,” Neighbor Lori Markle said.
Another neighbor said he heard it first and then discovered his backyard was a crash scene.
“Well I was just sitting in my living room and I heard a big crash outside,” Harding Avenue Resident Chris Jafrate said. “When I looked out the window, I noticed a car driving out of my yard. When I ran outside to see what was going on, I got out in time to see him go in a full circle and hit my neighbor’s house.”
The car rammed through the basement stair railing of Jafrate’s house at 100 Harding Avenue, and then smashed into the corner of the house next door at 1961 Louisa Avenue, knocking it an inch off its foundation.
Police said the driver had only a small cut on his wrist and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
“He said the throttle got stuck,” Markle said “It’s a new car so I don’t know how it could get stuck.”
The city building inspector was on the scene to survey the damage.
Jafrate said his family makes good use of their yard in the summer and it was only the weather that kept them inside and safe Tuesday.
“We’re out here most nights,” Jafrate said. “What probably stopped us from coming out today was the overcast. We didn’t know if it was going to rain soon so we kind of camped out inside.”
The yard is not level with the street as it is elevated two to three feet above the sidewalk, which makes the car in the yard even more unlikely.
“We’ll be a little bit more cautious,” Jafrate said. “Although you wouldn’t think we’d have to be, but we will now.”