Phoenix family thankful to be alive after car slams through backyard wall, killing the driver

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

“There was the plastic from the car.”

For Adrian Hernandez, a backyard destroyed and left in ruins… was a blessing for his family.

A car slammed through his backyard wall just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday, in the area of McDowell Road and 56th Avenue.  

[RELATED: PD: Driver dies after car crashes into Phoenix home]

“Sounded like a bomb. Really scary, really scary," said Hernandez.

At the time, he thought his wife and four-month-old son Felix had been hit.

 "My wife, when the accident happened, she jumped on top of him to protect him," said Hernandez.

Phoenix police said 23-year-old Luis Romero was driving two others, when he crashed through the wall. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, but the other two passengers expected to survive. Officers say speed and impairment played a part.

Hernandez says likely the only reason the car didn’t go into their house is that their wall is made up completely of cement blocks, which made it much harder to get through than if they had a wooden fence.

He says it all happened so fast, and at first, he and his wife couldn't see a thing.

“It was covered in dust everywhere, glass on the bed,” said Hernandez.

The air filter ended up on top of the toilet, their home windows were shattered, and the car battery was left with a hole burnt through it.

But amazingly, nobody inside the home was hurt.

“In a moment like that, when you see your family still alive and they’re still moving, you think to stay in a safe spot,” said Hernandez.

He said he forgives the young driver and hopes to find his family to help them as they grieve his death, as Hernandez hugged his young son a little tighter.

“I hope his family is okay.”

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Briana WhitneyBriana Whitney joined CBS 5/3TV in February 2018, and is no stranger to the sunshine and heat!

Click to learn more about Briana.

Briana Whitney

She’s from Northern California, but prior to coming to Phoenix, she reported at KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, TX for three years.

During her time in South Texas, she reported on several national stories. Some of the most memorable were the 2015 Wimberley floods, reporting for eight hours off the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and reporting from the church shooting in Sutherland Springs in November of 2017.

Her general assignment reporting won her two Associated Press awards, six EMMA awards, and one Emmy nomination for a half-hour special she wrote, produced and hosted on the issue of child pornography.

Briana graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and during college had seven different internships at several news stations.

When she isn’t chasing breaking news or working on a feature story, Briana loves checking out the best restaurants in the Valley, and hiking or rollerblading around town. Briana is very happy to have made Arizona home!

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