Car Crashes into House in Claremont

by ARLnow.com April 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm 4,118 37 Comments

A Toyota Camry somehow hopped a curb, smashed a small stone wall and hit the side of a house in the Claremont neighborhood this afternoon.

The crash happened near the traffic circle at the intersection of S. Chesterfield Road and S. Dinwiddie Street, across the street from Wakefield High School. Only one vehicle was involved and there were no reported injuries. No word on whether any charges will be filed against the driver.

The car wound up in a homeowner’s garden, about five feet above street level. A large crack was visible in the base of the home’s brick chimney, about where the car struck, but it’s not known for sure whether it was actually caused by the collision.

Roads were temporarily blocked while a tow truck worked to extract the car from the yard. More photos, after the jump.

  • Lou

    I’m going to go with do-it-yourself driving lessons.

  • Hank

    That is my friend’s home. What a crazy story. Everyone is alright though.

  • brendan

    didn’t know Camry’s have 4wd. impressive.

  • steve

    Typical camry driver. If I were in conress I would propose a law banning Camrys from the left lane on any road. Those of you who have ever driven behind one know why.

  • Aside from a medical issue, how does this happen legitimately?

    • jar

      mountain dew.

    • Clarendude

      This actually happened in my neighborhood when I was growing up (70’s). It was an elderly guy who was trying to brake in a hurry (maybe to avoid a kid or something) and he stomped the gas instead of the brake. Back in the day of the 2 ton Monte Carlo.

      • Steve

        That is why cars should all be manuals unless you have some kind of disability. It would keep the most incompetent people off the road becaues if you’re that incompetent, you’d never be able to drive a stick.

        • brendan

          hooray, car snobbery!

          ftr, not sure a manual transmission is much of a barrier.

        • Except that when you get older, your joints ache and reflexes are slower. Having to manipulate just another pedal in the clutch is asking for trouble for an older person. People who love manuals, as they age tend to switch to automatics for this reason.

      • CH

        Happened to the house I grew up in, about a dozen years ago. We were all home at the time. A teen with his driving permit panicked when his parent told him to slow down, and hit the gas instead of the brakes. Don’t think manual/automatic had much to do with it. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often!

      • metro

        If you’re so bad at driving that you confuse the gas and brake pedals, you should never be allowed behind the wheel.

    • Steve

      Never underestimate the incompetence of someone who willingly drives a Toyota Camry. These people have given up on life.

      • You may be on to something… although I thought it was limited to Toyota Sienna and Previa minivans.

        • CW

          OMG…Previas scare the crap out of me.

  • Moo-latte

    Whew! At least it missed the porch!

  • Patrick Arron Lee

    I’m Patrick, resident of the house pictured above.

    This is the 3rd time someone has hit our property, and my neighbors to the left and right have both been hit as well. The problem is obvious to us residents – a very poorly designed intersection.

    Nobody ever stops at the two stop signs, nor do people yield right of way at the two yield signs, which makes the simple act of pulling out of the driveway a daily thrill.

    Needless to say, I am very unhappy with traffic patterns on my block.

    • Patrick Arron Lee

      And to make clear a few points raised in the article, there were no injuries, and the crack, which was caused by the accident, extends from the chimney to interior walls as well as the house’s foundation.

    • RosRes

      Wow Patrick. The 3rd time! That’s outrageous!! I hope the County will finally do something about that intersection. Good luck!

    • Steve

      Ask the county to put in a light or change the traffic pattern. If they do not, sue.

      • Isaac

        Because, obviously the County is to blame for idiot drivers who don’t stop at stop signs…

    • MyHood

      So, sorry to hear about that. My friends live just a few houses up. Every time I drive through that intersection I worry for my safety. I have to ask – high school driver or actual adult this time?

      • MyHood

        That should be “So sorry”. Darn that sneaky comma.

        • brendan

          snarky commma.

    • SoArlRes

      Patrick, I am a neighbor of yours and I know the dangers of that traffic circle well. I’m very sorry to hear the extent of the damages to your house – it appears to be one of the best kept in the immediate area and I am certainly envious of your porch and landscaping – immaculate. What can be done to correct the foundation? Glad to hear nobody was hurt.

      • Tre

        Sounds like a clear motive here… envious neighbor has had it with immaculate landscaping.

    • shirley

      is that also a traffic cirlce intersection?

  • Lacy Forest

    Looking at it from Google maps, why didn’t they just make it a 4-way stop? I don’t see what purpose having a rotary and a couple of stop signs serves, other than to be confusing.

  • Something similar happened earlier in the week at Washington-Lee – a car drove up over the curb and up the hill and crashed into the backstop on the grass field. Scary!

    • charlie

      and that isn’t even an intersection. that strip of road has become very dangerous every since it was “curved” and the parking put in.
      when it snows it is fun to watch that no cars, not even the snowplows, follow the lanes.

    • EB

      Yeah, but that kid was drunk and speeding

  • SouthArlJD

    The last time I saw something like this in that neighborhood was the time an extremely drunk driver took a turn from South 12th to Forest Drive and ran smack into the house on the corner several years ago. He was so drunk he couldn’t stand up afterward and sat on the lawn puking his guts out.

    I’ll agree that the intersection where this took place is very poorly designed and have passed that house many, many times. The traffic circle forces the driver to turn pretty sharply while moving forward and seems too large for the amount of space it occupies.

    Too bad, I know the owners have done a lot of work on the yard and it’s been looking pretty good. With foundation damage there’s going to have to be quite a bit of repair work done.

  • I use to live on 25th Street. I avoided that intersection whenever I could. For some reason, the stop signs were regarded by many a driver as optional, and when the roads were slick, the intersection’s less attractive qualities were amplified. I’m sorry to hear about the damage to your home.

  • Bluemont John

    For some reason, Arlington loves these stupid vegetation islands, on the theory that they calm traffic. From everything I’ve seen, they do nothing but make people drive more uncontrollably and usually faster; I think drivers feel like they’re in some kind of slalom course. This intersection needs to have “sharp” corners and (since people obviously are ignoring the stopsigns) a traffic light with a camera. Barring that, it sounds like big nasty speed bumps would help.

    Patrick, sorry this happened to you.

    • SouthArlJD

      I remember what it was like before the islands were put in. Remember, Wakefield HS is right across the street and Dinwiddie looks like a racetrack. So I guess they thought islands would be a good way to slow people down. Your suggestions are better. Aggressive enforcement and properly defined corners with cameras will do at least as well as the islands.

  • CW

    Good thing that the lady crossing the street in the google maps streetview image wasn’t there at the time!!!

  • that is nuts. How can this circle be so difficult to drive? I drive it often and it does not require a high degree of expertise – just requires the driver pay attention and drive slowly. With a HS and police cars nearby, no reason exists for speed at that point.

    I’d be FURIOUS if this happened in my house. The guy actually drove UP to hit the house. So sorry about the damage to the house and the landscaping!!!

    As punishment I’d make the driver fix the yard by hand and pay for the repairs to the house!!! They should also remove the person’s driver’s license.


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