‘The whole house shook,’ resident says after car crashes into front porch of his Norwood Park home
by BRIAN NADIG
Norwood Park resident Richard Kelly was awakened at about 12:35 a.m. Friday, March 18, when a car crashed into the enclosed front porch of the house he lives in with his mother Cheryl in the 5800 block of North Harlem Avenue.
"The whole house shook, and it sounded like a loud explosion," Kelly said.
The mom and son were not injured but a 31-year-old driver of the BMW that crashed into the home was listed last week in stable condition at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, according to Chicago police.
A tire and license plate from the BMW were found under the porch when a crew later demolished and removed the structure, Kelly said.
"(The car) took out an iron railing," and the only remaining support for the porch were radiator pipes, he said.
It’s been estimated that replacing the porch and repairing other damage to the house could take 6 months, Kelly said.
"There are cracks … half way back into the house."
Kelly said that a neighbor has provided video surveillance footage of the incident and that it shows two vehicles driving at a high rate of speed in the northbound lanes when the driver in the right lane apparently loses control of his car. He said that after the car cut through the porch, it ended up back on the street.
Witnesses, possibly from vehicles in the southbound lanes, were outside the house talking immediately after the accident, and "I told my mother to call 911," Kelly said.
Kelly said that he was relieved to see that the driver survived the crash given the crushed condition of the vehicle.
The driver told police that the other driver changed lanes and sideswiped his BMW, causing him to lose control, according to police. The other driver did not stop, police said.
Kelly said that he’s been hearing an increased amount of noise from speeding vehicles outside his home at around 2 or 3 a.m., and a neighbor has suggested the need for the city to install a speed or a surveillance camera near the Harlem-Talcott intersection. He added that the street narrows near the house, and a bad accident was bound to happen.
Kelly said that the house has a piano near its front and fortunately his mother was not playing at the time of the accident. “My mother likes to play the piano at night,” he said, adding that they will probably have to live in a hotel or rental house during the repairs.