Speeding car slams into Austin home


by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News and photojournalist SCOTT GUEST


Posted on February 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 11:02 AM

AUSTIN -- Two North Austin families got a frightening surprise Sunday night when a speeding car crashed through one of the family's fences and into the other family's home.

It happened just before 10 p.m. at the corner of Meadow Vale and West Rundberg. It took just moments for the car to smash its way into Phyllis Noel's livingroom. Furniture went flying. The fireplace and chimney exploded in a shower of stone. 

“It sounded like a roll of thunder,” said Noel. “My fireplace went clear to the front door.”

Noel says after the crash she tried to keep a man in the SUV from leaving. “I was holding him by his shirt and his sleeve,” she said.

She says he grabbed her by the hair, and they struggled their way across her debris-filled backyard.

“As soon as we got to the other end, he gave me a push and took off over the fence,” Noel said.

A few years ago, another speeding car hit a tree in Noel's backyard. The latest crash left a much larger trail of destruction. 

Before the out-of-control vehicle slammed into Noel's home, it careened onto the sidewalk, struck a light pole, then tore through Christopher Garcia's backyard, mangling a metal bench and sending pieces of his fence everywhere. Garcia says a pedestrian managed to jump out of speeding car's way.

“That car missed that guy by about literally centimeters,” Garcia said.

Neighbors say this isn't the first time something like this has happened.

“We have a big problem with speeders, and it's not just passenger vehicles and everyday motorists,” Garcia said. 

He says he's seen Capital Metro buses as well as City of Austin vehicles going well over the 35 mile per hour speed limit on the stretch of road in front of his home. He's called Austin police many times trying to get more patrols in the area.

“According to the Austin Police Department, however, if they don't see it, it didn't happen,” said Garcia. “It was only a matter of time before this happened, and we're very fortunate that this one was not deadly. I can assure you if it does happen again, it may not end up so well.”

Austin police say the driver may have been going as fast as 80 miles per hour. They tell KVUE they've been watching the particular area for the past couple of months and have issued several speeding tickets and warnings.

APD says the next step is for neighbors to go to the City and ask for traffic calming devices like speed bumps.

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