Bruce Redding returned home from the gym Sunday afternoon to find an SUV on his roof and much of the front of his house destroyed.
Authorities say the speeding SUV had hit an embankment and launched into the air, like something out of a Hollywood movie, before crashing down on Redding’s roof in the 5900 block of Lillian Avenue. He was told the SUV sped down Mimika Avenue to where that street ends in a T-intersection in front of his home.
“I can see straight through my house,” said Redding, 66, who had recently paid off the home. “This is everything that I’ve worked for all my life, and for someone to run through a stop sign and destroy it ...”
Bruce Redding had an SUV on his house
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Michael Arras, the St. Louis Fire Department’s deputy chief of special operations, said it was like nothing he had ever encountered as a firefighter.
“That’s not one you get every day,” Arras said.
Authorities arrived at the house about 12:40 p.m. to find the SUV on the roof and the driver trapped in the SUV. Firefighters are used to both climbing ladders and rescuing people from crashed cars — but not usually at the same time. Arras said they proceeded carefully.
“We had accessed the roof and the structure to see if it was safe to get on the roof,” Arras said. “It was determined that it was viable. We put just enough on the roof to make the extrication and get off.”
The driver was taken to a hospital. His condition was not known, but fire officials said he was in and out of consciousness after the crash.
Redding, meanwhile, was left with a home that may never be habitable again.
“This is not true,” he recalled saying when he arrived home, alerted by neighbors to the crash. “This can’t be happening.”
Redding recently retired after 22 years at Norwood Hills Country Club, where he was restaurant and bar manager. He said the home on Lillian has been in his family for 40 years, and something similar actually happened in the 1980s or 1990s, when his mother lived in the home. She wasn’t hurt. He’s lived in the home alone for the last 25 years or so.
Family and friends arrived Sunday afternoon to help him salvage some of his belongings. He was able to maneuver himself around in the living room where he used to sit and watch his big screen TV, now destroyed. He said the home was insured.
“The good thing is, I’m alive,” he said.
The bad thing is that the driver is alive. He lived to do it again, as these morons never learn from their accidents.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -
Fire crews were called to a bizarre scene in St. Louis' Walnut Park West neighborhood on Sunday, where a car became trapped in the roof of a house.
The incident happened around 1 p.m. in the 5900 block of Lillian. According to the St. Louis Fire Department, no one was in the house at the time of the accident, but one person was trapped inside of the car.
The St. Louis Fire Department said in a Facebook post that one person was rescued from the vehicle and taken to an area hospital in critical condition.
Larry Davis witnessed exactly how it unfolded.
"I'll tell you I've never seen anything like that in my life...and I probably won't ever see it again," said Davis.
He said it happened just after he got out of church on Sunday morning, which is located at the corner of that intersection. He started going Facebook Live on the scene.
Davis explained to News 4 that the car was driving at high speed down Mimika Ave.
"The car was going pretty fast, maybe 80-90 mph," said Davis.
Once the SUV hit the T-intersection of Mimika Ave. & Lillian Ave., the vehicle drove over the curb, up the small hill or terrace of land in front of the house and launched into the air, landing on the roof of a residential home.
"He never took his foot off the gas. You could tell, he never took his foot off the gas," said Davis.
Davis described the unidentified driver as a male in his 40s.
"He was just happy to be alive. You could tell he had a couple of broken bones. It was visible, a lot of blood," said Davis.
The St. Louis Fire Department said the driver was trapped in his car for about an hour before he was extricated. The SUV sat on the roof for another 3 hours, before a towing company pulled it down.
The owner of the home told News 4 he was at the gym when his neighbor called and said, "Bruce, you got to get back here." Bruce said he is in disbelief but in great spirits. He also said everyone from first responders to the Red Cross has been great in trying to help him out.
Neighbors said this is not the first time a vehicle has ended up in this same yard.
"This is the second time it's happened since I've been here for 6 months," said Angelo Bridges, who lives across the street from the crash. Both he and Davis said the intersection sees reckless driving all the time.
"People just speeding, not stopping for stop signs," said Bridges.
"Our church fence has damage from a car accident that happened just a few weeks ago, but I've never seen anybody come that fast," said Davis.
The city placed a fourth stop sign at this intersection after the first crash last month, but since the second one, the neighbors say that's not enough to prevent the problem. "They need to put some speed bumps or something down," said Bridges.