HOUSTON - A wild traffic accident on a dark and dangerous road sent an SUV flying into the air before it crashed through the roofs of two houses in northwest Harris County early Sunday morning.
The speeding driver, who apparently didn’t see a sharp curve in a road behind a subdivision, hit a grassy berm that sent his vehicle airborne. His SUV flew through a wooden fence, crashed through the roof of one house, then flipped over into the roof of the house next door.
“I was woken up at 2 a.m. with a loud screech and a boom, boom, boom, the loudest noise I ever heard,” said Kathie Back, who lives next door to the house the SUV struck first.
The vehicle lodged upside down atop the house where it came to rest. Somehow, no one in either home was injured.
The driver who apparently had been drinking also survived uninjured, deputies said, possibly saved by his vehicle’s air bags. He appeared to be sending a text message as he was loaded into an ambulance.
“I’ve been out here a while and, yes, this is the first I’ve seen anything like this,” said John Laine, an assistant deputy chief with the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office. “First time in my career.”
By daylight, a crowd of neighbors gathered around the home to watch the spectacle of firefighters using a crane to extract the vehicle stuck in the roof.
“I’ve seen some bad things go down on this curve over here, but this is the worst,” said Justin Hopper, a neighbor who watched from across the street. “This is the worst. It hit two houses? This is crazy.”
The dangerous curve behind the damaged houses is almost entirely unmarked. A couple of twisted signs are the only warning for drivers unfamiliar with the sharp turns in Addicks Satsuma Road just south of West Little York Road. With no street lights, at night the pavement is entirely dark.
“They’re always going too fast around this corner, because they don’t realize how sharp it is, really,” said Charlie Summers, whose office overlooks the road. “And anytime there’s any moisture, rain or anything like that there’s always cars upside down, cars in the ditch. It’s just like two or three times a month.”
Tire ruts dug deep into the roadside show where drivers have swerved off the pavement and slid into ditches.
Deputies expected the driver to face charges. A witness saw him speeding through a red light shortly before the accident, authorities said.
A pistol fell out of the SUV when it was pulled out of the roof, opening the possibility he could face even more legal trouble. Even if he had a permit for the weapon, deputies said he could be charged with carrying a pistol while committing the felony of driving while intoxicated.