A car came crashing through the roof of a North St. Louis home, and the homeowner and neighbors said it’s not the first time a car has come barreling onto their property.
The St. Louis Fire Department responded to the unusual call Sunday afternoon. Crews arrived at the 5900 block of Lillian around noon where a vehicle was trapped on a roof.
Firefighters used their ladder trucks to rescue the driver of the SUV, who drove up onto the homeowner’s lawn before launching onto his roof. He is in critical condition.
"He had to be traveling pretty fast to launch himself up there," said Deputy Chief of Special Operations Michael Arras.
"I was shaking,” explained Bruce Redding, who has lived in the home for 25 years. Before that, his mom lived there.
Thankfully, Redding was nowhere near the scene of the crash. He was at the gym when he got a call from his neighbor.
"So, my initial thought was to find out if he was in the house," said Terrell Jones, who lives directly to the left of Redding.
Jones called Redding to ensure he was OK, then told him to hurry home.
Redding said his house means everything to him. He had just finished paying it off. Redding and his neighbors said it's not uncommon for drivers to ignore the stop signs. As a matter of fact, this wasn’t the first time a car has come crashing through their yards.
"I had a car smash, turn my railing off,” Jones said. “I had another car smash into the side of the house, park right in between our houses."
Redding seconded that.
"Everybody up and down here has had their yards redone," he said, adding that many of the parked cars on the street are frequently hit by speeding cars. "Something that you work for, something that you put a lot of work into, it can be gone in a second."
Neighbors along Lillian said, despite their frustration, they’re thankful that no one was inside the house during the crash.
“It's a blessing because God said it's not your time,” Jones said.
“I'll just gather my thoughts," Redding said. "I'll talk to my insurance people and we'll just take it one step at a time."
Neighbors explained that if you stood at the intersection of Lillian and Mimika, it wouldn’t be long before you would see cars flying by. That’s exactly what happened Sunday afternoon.
They are hopeful that the city takes notice of this predicament. They said the solution is either to add speed bumps to slow the flow of traffic or see the intersection at Lillian and Mimika become a one-way street, to stop these crashes from happening in the first place.
The incident is under investigation.