Texas Homeowner Facing Fines After DUI Driver Crashes Into His House
A guy in Texas named Chris Newby uses his driveway and garage to park his vehicles, but a few weeks ago, a drunk driver created a new parking spot - in the spare bedroom of Chris' house. Chris is now facing fines from the city, according to KXAN.
January 19th around 2:30am, Chris Newby was sleeping in his second-floor bedroom when the car broke through the wall of his home and part way into the spare room just below where his bed is.
“Basically, there’s an entire car, right here inside the bedroom,” Newby told KXAN.
Newby tried his best to extract the driver from the car, but he couldn't get to him through all of the rubble. Once emergency crews arrived and pulled the driver out, he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the Austin Police Department reported.
Despite the fact that the spare bedroom "looked like a tornado hit it," according to Newby, he was uninjured. However, his injury came in the form of a letter from the city that arrived 10 days after the crash.
The letter explained that Newby had code violations for the status of his home, with the letter dated the day the crash happened.
“There’s two different violations,” Newby said. “One for having a hole in my house and one for having no window.”
You can hear the car hit the house in Chris' driveway camera video.
The letter explained he had 30 days to get his house fixed or face the consequences - a fine of $2,000 per violation, per day.
That means if the insurance companies and contractors can't all get in agreeance on fixing the home within 30 days, he could be facing $4,000 fines every day until they do.
“It felt tone deaf to me,” Newby said. “I’m in violation for being a victim.”
“This was a catastrophic incident and they wanted to ensure that the homeowners were safe and the building was safe,” Matthew Noriega, a division manager for the Austin Code Department, told KXAN.
He said that the citations are part of city procedure to ensure the safety of the homeowners.
“This was a catastrophic incident and they wanted to ensure that the homeowners were safe and the building was safe,” Noriega said.
Noriega said that these notices are given to all homes suffering catastrophic events, like fires, but the city gives a little flexibility when it comes to the due date.
“If an extension is needed, we will give them that extension,” he explained. “We work with the owners or management.”
Newby is pretty disappointed by the city.
“Austin is kind of going against me,” he said. “It feels a little less like home every day.”
Newby said the driver's insurance is paying for repairs, which should be completed by the end of February.
Read more at KXAN