CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio – Cleveland Heights police are investigating after a driver lost control and crashed into a house causing extensive damage.
It happened along Fairmount Boulevard and South Taylor Road around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police say officers attempted to stop a speeding car on Cedar Road, but the driver took off, heading south on Taylor Road. The police did not pursue the vehicle.
Witnesses said the car went left of center then crashed into the house near the intersection. The firefighters intervened, extricated the driver from the wreckage and took him to the hospital. The driver’s condition is currently unknown. Police said officers later found a handgun, pills and a scale inside the vehicle. The driver was not arrested.
An owner’s frustration
For the owner, frustration has reached an all-time high. He says his house, cars and garage have been hit at least 5 times over the years.
It got so bad that he put up his own makeshift signage on his tree-lined lawn reading, “Where’s my guardrail?” A next-door neighbor has installed metal posts and additional fencing to protect part of his house facing the intersection.
Fortunately, no one in the neighborhood was injured in this latest incident.
News 5 followed Cleveland Heights police and a towing company as they collected evidence and transported one of the cars involved in the crash overnight.
Last November, a driver broke into his home during a high-speed police chase.
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The owner demanded a railing at the time. He previously told News 5 that there was one previously installed and removed in 2005 for a road resurfacing project.
“This time it’s really, really bad, a lot more destruction than I expected,” neighbor Jan Cline said. “I wouldn’t feel safe here, not for a minute, no. I wouldn’t live here.”
Cline continued, “I think this man’s life is in danger. And I was saying to the mayor, who I voted for, ‘Mayor, please do something to save this man’s life.’ It will be too late when someone kills him.
The city responds
Cleveland Heights Mayor Kahlil Seren told News 5 on Wednesday that city leaders have met with the landlord several times to discuss the issue.
“Based on what we saw last night, we are committed to trying to redouble our efforts to analyze this problem and come up with a creative solution that works for everyone, including [the homeowner]his next-door neighbors and motorists on the streets,” Seren said.
He explained that a guardrail in front of the house would not be feasible as there is not enough space for the length of rail and safety pads required by ODOT regulations.
“We would proactively create a hazard for drivers in an effort to mitigate a hazard for the owner,” Seren said.
The city is looking at other solutions, such as decorative planters or rocks, and has offered to pay for them.
“We are absolutely willing and have offered to financially support some sort of barrier on the property that would provide some protection to his home. But we have not yet been able to secure an agreement from the landlord,” Seren said. .
Neighbors in the area fear the situation could have dangerous consequences if not resolved quickly.
“They need to do something right now, really, before there’s a loss of life,” Cline said.
The owner would not do an interview on camera, but told News 5 off-camera that he would go to town hall to discuss the matter again. The city says it’s ready to look at all feasible options.
RELATED: Cleveland Heights police chase ends in car crash in house