Safety Berm Installed By Previous Homeowner Serves Its Purpose 21 Years Later

June 18, 2008

On Mother’s Day in the late 1980’s, Tom Egolf and his wife were inside their home at 4103 Merrick when two young men lost control of their car on Academy and plowed into the Egolf’s master bedroom and bathroom. The passenger in the vehicle was killed, and the Egolf’s might have been also had they been at the wrong place in their own home.

After that accident, the Egolf’s hired a landscape company plant a berm, designed to cause vehicles to veer to the left, away from the master bedroom, if they came into the yard. Last night, around 3:40 a.m., the berm served its purpose.

Current resident Vickie McClanahan believes it saved her life when a 20-year-old running from police lost control and shot onto the berm, which caused the vehicle to curve towards the left. McClanahan thinks the car went airborne before it crashed through her fence, finally hitting a tree several feet from where she was sleeping in the master bedroom. The driver is hospitalized.

“That’s the reason we had it designed that way,” said Egolf. “It would make the car hem up the berm and peel off to the side. Twenty-one or so years later, it served its purpose.

“I was just sleeping, like most people do who aren’t running around at 3 in the morning,” said McClanahan.

She said it is the first time a car has actually hit the fence, but a motorcycle has hit a post in front of the berm and several cars have veered into her grass trying to gain control of their cars. The tow truck driver who pulled the car from her yard early this morning told McClanahan that he was the same driver who pulled the car out in the 80’s. McClanahan said speeding around the curve at Academy and Merrick has always been a problem.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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