CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Cleveland Heights Police are investigating after a driver lost control and crashed into a home causing extensive damage.
It happened along Fairmount Boulevard and South Taylor Road around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police said officers tried to pull over a speeding car at Cedar Road but the driver took off, heading south on Taylor Road. Police did not pursue the vehicle.
Witnesses said the car went left of center and then crashed into the house near the intersection. Firefighters responded, extricated the driver from the wreckage and took the person 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 has not been arrested.
A homeowner's frustration
For the homeowner, 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's gotten so bad he installed his own makeshift signage on his tree lawn stating, "Where's my guardrail?" A nextdoor neighbor installed metal poles and extra fencing to protect part of his home facing the intersection.
Luckily, no one in the neighborhood was injured in this latest incident.
News 5 followed Cleveland Heights Police and a towing company as they gathered evidence and hauled away one of the cars involved in the crash overnight.
Last November, a driver smashed into his home during a high-speed police chase.
The homeowner demanded a guardrail back then. He previously told News 5 there was one previously installed there and removed in 2005 for a road resurfacing project.
"This time it’s really, really bad, much more destruction than I expected,” said neighbor Jan Cline. “I wouldn’t feel safe being here, not for a minute, no. I wouldn’t live here.”
Cline continued, “I think that the man’s life is in danger. And I would say to the mayor, who I voted for, ‘Mayor, please do something to save this man’s life.’ It’s going to be too late when someone kills him.”
The city responds
Cleveland Heights Mayor Kahlil Seren told News 5 Wednesday that city leaders have met with the homeowner several times to discuss the problem.
"Based on what we saw last night, we are dedicated to trying to redouble our efforts at analyzing this problem and coming up with a creative solution that works for everybody, including [the homeowner], his next door neighbors and motorists on the streets," Seren said.
He explained a guardrail in front of the home would not be feasible because there isn't enough space for the length of the rail and the crash cushions required by ODOT regulations.
"We'd be creating, proactively, a hazard to drivers in an effort to mitigate a hazard to the homeowner,” Seren said.
The city is looking into other solutions, such as decorative planters or boulders, and has offered to pay for it.
"We are absolutely willing and we have offered to to financially support some sort of barrier on the property that would provide some protection to his home. But we haven't been able to secure an agreement from the homeowner yet," Seren said.
Neighbors in the area worry the situation could have dangerous consequences if it isn't address soon.
“They need to do something right away, really, before there’s loss of life,” Cline said.
The homeowner did not want to do an on-camera interview, but told News 5 off camera that he would be going to city hall to discuss the matter again. The city says it's willing to look into any and all feasible options.