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Car crash into city home isn't the first time the owner has dealt with an auto accident on his property.
Bryan Stableford heard 'what sounded like thunder'
ROBERT A. MARTIN/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 8/3/2012
Bryan Stableford feels like a marked man.
And for good reason.
The car that rammed into his house in Fredericksburg's Normandy Village Wednesday night was the sixth to crash there since he moved in in 1988.
"Cars go by here 50 miles an hour all the time," he said Thursday afternoon, standing in his front yard pointing out the curve on Woodford Street that all the cars rounded before crashing at his corner property.
The 49-year-old Stableford remembers all of the accidents.
The first happened about 15 years ago when a car hit his brother's truck in the driveway. A few years later, another car hit his father's Ford F-150 while it was parked on the street.
The third crash involved a young couple whose car hit a utility pole guy wire and flipped over in front of his house.
Crashes four and five involved cars that ran into a tree in his front yard. All that remains of that tree now is a flat stump.
The most recent crash happened just after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"I'm sitting there watching Olympic swimming one second and the next I'm staring at the back end of a car" jutting out from his house, said Stableford, who runs his own carpet-cleaning business.
He was on a couch in the upper level of his brick home when a Chevrolet Aveo ran off the road, through his front yard, and slammed into the lower level on the other end of the house.
The car's front end crashed through brick and cinder block. The Aveo's front end was hanging inside a lower-level kitchen used by Stableford's roommate, who wasn't at home.
"I thought lightning had either struck the house or a tree," Stableford said. "It shook me on the couch."
Police charged the driver, 21-year-old Ashleigh Molina, with driving under the influence and reckless driving. Molina, who also lives in Normandy Village, refused treatment at the scene and was taken to jail, according to Fredericksburg police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe.
A roommate of Molina stopped by Thursday afternoon to apologize. "We all do stupid things in our lives," Stableford said after the young man left.
Still, Stableford added, he's the one left with the damaged home.
Inside the house, he pointed out the kitchen, where it looked like a bomb had exploded.
"Everything's gone," he said.
The crash blew out a window and a large chunk of the brick exterior, which was covered by a thick piece of plywood.
There was also structural damage, but fire crews shored up the area Wednesday night, said Steve Smallwood, director of the city's Building and Development office. An inspector with the office was scheduled to check the structure later Thursday.
Stableford has vowed to stay in the home.
"The thing I'm worried about is you got to make it at least as good as it was," he said of the repairs.
In the meantime, he'll consider building a barrier in his front yard to protect his home in the future.
"It's paid for," he said of the house. "I just have to figure out how to keep cars from coming through it."
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436