Cars have crashed into homeowner’s property about 23 times, he says
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KPIX) - A man in San Jose, California, said his property next to a busy intersection has been hit by vehicles nearly two dozen times over the years.
A lot of people would have moved by now, but the homeowner has held strong for decades.
He said he’s spent thousands of dollars fortifying his property and repairing damages as it occurs.
“Well, the house shakes. First you think it’s an earthquake. You hear the rumbling,” Ray Minter said.
Located across the street from a freeway exit, Minter’s home is an easy target for careless drivers.
He said that his property has been hit about 23 times.
He said since the early 1970s, he’s seen cars miss the street and crash in his front yard.
“Every time we’ve been hit, we’ve been home,” Minter said.
Recently, it’s drivers failing to complete a right turn.
The cost adds up with him having to repair the damage and find new ways to keep cars from his house.
“Four times where they’ve gone as far as the kitchen,” he said.
Thankfully insurance has covered most of the mess created by driver after driver.
Minter installed steel poles on his property line, even if the city advises against it.
He also has a brick wall with cement poles and heavy rocks to try to keep future cars from coming to the house.
”If I don’t have them here, they’re surely going to kill one of us,” Minter said.
Though his house may be closest to the exit, there are also other houses along this street that also have to worry about somebody crashing into their property.
Over the years, Minter has tried talking to city and state agencies, asking his elected officials for help, and looked into getting a lawyer.
He said he thinks preventing cars from attempting a wide turn coming off the freeway would be one way to reduce the crashes and avoid someone getting hurt.
“Take out the center lane. No right-hand turns from the center,” Minter said.
The City of San Jose said it has requested grant money for a project to make changes to the intersection and add a median for this corridor of the street.
If approved, the money to start the project would arrive next summer.
For now, Minter isn’t losing any sleep because he’s used to the crashes.
“I mean, where else can I go? I mean, my neighborhood, nobody bothers you,” he said.
But he’s prepared to wake up to another one in his front yard on any given day.
“You don’t really think about it. I mean, you listen for car wrecks,” Minter said.
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