ST. LOUIS - It’s been more than a month since a large piece of concrete fell five stories from a vacant building in downtown St. Louis and crushed a car parked on the street below, but now, the owners of that car have run into a whole new set of problems.
“I didn’t do any of this. I didn’t ask for any of this. Now I’m stuck with it,” said Rachel Barnes.
Barnes and her fiancé, Clifford Alcorn, contacted NewsChannel 5 On Your Side with concern that they’re being short-changed on something that wasn’t even their fault.
“It’s not like a car accident," Alcorn said. "It’s not like I could have reacted or she could have reacted at all.”
The Jefferson County couple lost their newly purchased Ford Focus around 6:45 a.m. on August 29. The concrete fell from outside the top floor of the property at 511 Olive Street.
A spokesperson for the company that owns the building, Brandonview LLC, told NewsChannel 5 On Your Side at the time that no one was inside or outside the building when the accident happened.
The spokesperson also called it a freak of nature and said the company would be taking care of the damage.
But fast forward to today, and Barnes and Alcorn contend that they’re the ones paying the price.
“It’s a disaster. It’s just one disaster after the other," Barnes said. "You sit there and you try so hard to make things work and nothing wants to.”
The couple said they received an insurance check for total losses in the amount of nearly $9,300 on behalf of the Cincinnati Insurance Companies.
But they said that amount doesn’t nearly cover what’s still owed on the now totaled Ford Focus. And they said their auto insurance won’t cover the damage either.
Barnes said, “The car itself, the loan that was left on the car was $18,000 plus.”
So, in addition to getting another loan for a new car so they can get to and from work, the couple is still paying their lienholder for the ruined car they can’t even use.
It’s become a massive financial burden that’s crippling the young couple.
“You would think with it not being my fault, that I would not have to take a huge loss,” Alcorn said.
“I’m having to take money that would have gone to utility bills and money that we are having to scrape together from additional loans,” Barnes added.
The couple would like to see the other parties involved step up and cover the costs that literally came crashing down onto their lives.
“It makes you feel like the entire universe is crashing down on you and you have no control on it,” Barnes said.
NewsChannel 5 On Your Side reached out to Brandonview multiple times and received no calls back for comment.
A spokeswoman for Cincinnati Insurance Companies said in a total-auto-loss situation, they’re only required to pay the fair-market value of the car.
It’s an amount the company determines through a survey of actual sales of similar vehicles within a 100-mile radius.