“With a bang,” George Strother told reporters when asked how his morning started.
A BMW sport utility vehicle crashed through the roof of the family’s garage in Escondido, California, in the early hours of Wednesday morning. “My wife thought it was an earthquake, she was really freaked out,” Strother later said.
The Strothers’ house sits below street level, so an out-of-control car that careened off the roadway could land on top of the garage.
“The first thing that we saw,” Strother said to reporters, “the BMW that had come through the roof had landed on the hood of our (Nissan) Pathfinder.”
Police and firefighters stood by while a tow truck pulled the luxury SUV through the ceiling, into the garage, and dragged it out and across the driveway using the tow truck cables.
What remains, according to Strother, is “a hole big enough to drive a BMW SUV through,” though he believes there is little overall structural damage to the garage.
The driver has not been located, Lt. Eric Skaja of the Escondido police told CNN by phone, and the automobile is a dealer loaner car. The person to whom the vehicle was loaned has been identified, but has not come forward or been arrested so far.
The police currently are investigating the incident as a misdemeanor hit and run. If it turns out the driver was under the influence, Skaja said the penalty for a DUI is significantly more serious than the penalty for a misdemeanor hit and run.
The Strothers, though, were never in danger. Their bedroom is at the other end of the house.