Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Part 2

Warning:  some of what I am going to say is graphic.

So, like I said in my last post.  A car hit my house.

Darrell and I went to bed at about 12:30.  It had been a great weekend.  We had the family get together for Ryan and Eric's birthdays the day before, and the house was really clean, which you would know that would be a bid deal if you know me.  Anyway, we went to bed.  At about 2:40 am we both woke up, looked at each other and said in unison, "What was that?"  Darrell ran downstairs to look out of the window to try to see what is up, to find that he couldn't look out of the window, because a car had crashed into the house right below it.  He ran back upstairs, got dressed and told me to grab the phone and come downstairs.  I remember asking what happened, and he just would say that I would see.

I headed downstairs and immediately called 911.  We could hear the car's OnStar system trying to talk to the driver, and there were already neighbors at our house trying to see if they could help the driver.  Fortunately/unfortunately, the car was too deep into my house and we couldn't see anything.  Very grateful for that actually, because the driver died instantly because the sub-flooring in our living room hit him in the throat.  He was not decapitated. However, everything was crushed.

Anyway, the 911 operator had me repeat a few times what I was telling her.  All I could say was, "There is a car in my house!" She asked me several times in the next few minutes what I saw and if everyone in the house was OK - which we were. The emergency vehicles got to my house really quickly. My backdoor neighbor came running up during this and just started hugging  me telling me that everything was alright.  Apparently the shock wave from the crash actually shook her house and woke her up as well.

Amazingly, Ryan and Jenny were they only ones that got woken up by the crash.  Ryan says that the squealing tires are what woke him up, so he was awake for the crash.  He thought a missile had hit the house.

When the firefighters came in they had a gas meter.  It went to the highest click, so we had to grab what we could as fast as we could and get out.  I went and got Meagan and Darrell got everyone else.  I didn't even get her car seat or the diaper bag.  I ended up asking an officer to go get my car seat for me.  Darrell took so long that they almost went in to get him.

Because we couldn't be at the house, I woke up my wonderful friend Donna Gabriel to ask her if we could come over because she lives just down the street from us.  We took the kids over, and I went to Walmart to get everything we would need for the day.  The kids wanted to still go to school, so I had to get clothes for everyone, and all the normal diaper bag stuff, because I didn't know when they would let us back into the house.  It ended up that they let us in within 2 hours, but only for 20 minutes.  Let me tell you, you really do figure out what is important to you when you are told you only have 20 minutes. 

The rest of the day was spent trying to deal with what we needed to do next.

We were top news in the area for two days because of this. The best headline we heard that day was, "Camaro hits a house full of children!" I don't know why, but that one made us laugh so hard!  I was able to find some news video from that day.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the one with my interview in it, but oh well.  And it is crazy how the media camps out and waits for you until you give.  I was also surprised at some of the info they tried to get out of me.  Like names and ages of my kids.  Why would they need that?  Anyway, to see the news story you can go here.

Here are some of the pictures we took that day as well:

Front view of the house

What the living room looked like after they took the car out of the house.

Where the driver hit the curb leading up to my house.  We were told that he hit our house going 70-90 miles an hour.
Behind our dryer downstairs.
The half wall in the den down stairs.
The bay window in the back of the house.
 The air vents for under the house in the back of the house that had been blown out. This is what got us our new decking, because they had to pull up the deck in order to get to the siding to be able to repair it.
 The front corner of the house.  We ended up getting all of the brick on our house replaced. 
 The living room after they cleaned everything out.  We called this "The Pit".
 You can see here where the stairs separated a little bit from the wall as well.

These pictures are not all of the damage that happened to our house, but it gives you a great idea of how extensive it was.  It was really bad, but it could have been a lot worse.  We learned a lot about how our house was built right(the sub-flooring was done really well for this) and how it had some things not so right (the vents you saw blown out).

I am so very grateful that no one in my family was hurt.  There was a huge potential for that to happen, but it didn't.  I am saddened that this young man lost his life.

That being said, there are lessons and blessings from this that will affect us for the rest of our lives.  Even though it is hard, I am glad to know that I have been able to get through this ordeal without going completely crazy. :)  I am also so very grateful to be back in my own house.  But that is a story for another day. :)


treen said...

Those pictures are crazy!

I would have had to keep Summer away from any media if that were our family - she wouldn't have told them only their names and ages, but also where they were born and our entire family history all the way down to our social security numbers (if she knew that part, which she does not). She's a chatty little soul.

Alisha said...

I'm with Trina. My kids would have been so open and so trusting. No thank you.

But I'm ever so grateful you are okay. I can't wait to see how your house looks now. But really, what I am very excited for, is for your life to return to normal. How about some boring months for a change? I'd say you deserve it.

Tisha said...

Holy cow, Liz! First of all, I haven't talked to you in forever, I found your link on my traffic feed. You have really been through a lot! I'm so glad you guys are all ok.

And a little side note.. We still have the quilt you made us and now my little boy uses it all the time.

Hilary said...

Oh my goodness! I followed you over from Mormon Mommy blogs -- what a story you have had this year! What a blessing that everyone in your family is alright, but sad about the driver.