Sleeping pair dodges death as Jaguar slams into bedroom
A Vancouver Island couple was violently jolted awake early Thursday morning when a suspected drunk driver slammed his Jaguar into their basement apartment, pushing their bed across the room.
Saanich police say the 51-year-old driver fled the scene and led them on a brief chase before he was arrested. They were shocked to report that just a few hours after the man was treated in hospital and released, he was arrested yet again for another incident of suspected drunk driving.
The saga began at about 2 a.m. when the residents of a home at the intersection of Tillicum and Carey roads were awoken by a shaking sensation.
"All of a sudden [there was] just a huge bang. We thought it was an earthquake or the roof was coming down," said Cody Miller, who was sleeping in the basement suite with his girlfriend Holly Knopf.
But when the pair gathered their wits, they realized their bed had been pushed to the opposite side of the room. They could taste drywall dust, and when they looked up above the headboard, they saw the front end of a car.
"We just looked at each other and couldn't talk. We didn't know what to say," Knopf told CTV News.
"I remember hearing this very creepy music -- it was like in a horror movie. It was the music in the car."
The 2004 Jaguar sports car had gone straight through a T-shaped intersection, hitting a fence and then a parked car before smashing into the house. It plowed through a storage room before crashing through the bedroom wall, stopping just short of crushing Knopf and Miller.
"It's got to be the freakiest thing that's ever happened to me by far. It was nutty. I've never been in shock like that before," Miller said.
Upstairs, landlord Luke Gysbers and his wife were also shaken out of their slumber.
"I ran out the front door and had a look and I saw a gentleman crawling out the front window on the passenger side," Gysbers said.
He went back inside to grab his bathrobe and a pair of shoes, but by the time he returned, the driver was gone.
"I'm very disappointed that he actually ran away. We're lucky the house was built the way it was. He could have definitely killed Holly and Cody," Gysbers said.
The suspect was arrested a few blocks away and required treatment for injuries to his head. Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said the man was described as "highly intoxicated," and there was no evidence that he hit the brakes before smashing into the home.
But the story didn't end there. The same man was arrested again at 10 a.m. after a neighbour called police to report that he had seen the suspect leaving his house with a beer in hand and stepping into a Dodge Caravan.
He was stopped in the 2500-block of Blanshard Street and taken back to police holding cells.
"It's not very often that we enter into two impaired driving investigations in a matter of hours in relation to the same driver, so that's quite unusual," Jantzen said.
The suspect will likely face charges in connection to both incidents, including impaired driving, failing to remain at the scene of a crash and driving while prohibited. Both vehicles were impounded for seven days, and the driver received two 24-hour suspensions.