Family forced out of home after accident

Family forced out of home after accident
(Source: WTOL)

FINDLAY, OH (WTOL) - "We came outside because we could see the flashing lights coming through this window," said Erica Thomas. "We came out here and saw there was a car hanging out of our house."

fatal accident into their home. The Thomas family was fast asleep Tuesday morning until a car ran into their house of 15 years.

It started as a high-speed police chase on County Road 220 through Mortimer, a township outside of Findlay, but ended as a fatal accident into the Thomas' home. All of this happening while Erica and her four kids were sleeping inside.

"Like it was just a loud boom and I was like really scared," said Kenna Thomas, Erica and Toby's 8-year-old daughter.  "I just was just like speechless and I wanted to cry. I was just really scared."

"At first it seemed unreal, until like waking up Wednesday morning coming back to the house and after that it's just been confusing," said Carter Thomas, the Thomas' 13-year-old son. "You don't know where you're going to be in the next hour. You don't know where you're going to be living in the next week. It's just it's all haywire."

Toby, Erica and their four kids had to move out of their home because of the extensive damage from the accident that happened around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. While their insurance will cover the damage, they are now living in a hotel and looking for a place to say while repairs are estimated.

"It's rough to just wake up one morning and just be like (told) well you got to move because it's not safe," explained Erica. "It's hard you can't pack up your life and move it into a hotel, it's been rough."

The car was being chased by police on County Road 220 when it crossed the center lane, went over the railroad tracks, hit a telephone pole and then drove into neighbors yards. You can still see tire tracks from the car both on the road in the Thomas' yard several days later.

The car not only broke through the outside of their home, but damaged the entire structure of the house.

"The floor joists actually run straight toward where the impact took place that actually pushed the floor joist through hit another bearing wall, kind of torqued everything," said Toby Thomas, the homeowner. "It's kind of a big deal on the other side of the place where you can actually see where it kind of rocked the foundation. You can see where it loosened up the mortar and everything it's a lot more destruction than what it looks like from the outside."

The car actually broke through the Thomas' front dining room and basement, but the impact caused their foundation to shift and cracks formed throughout their house, their porch is destroyed and several other areas were damaged as a result of the impact from the car.

A structural engineer will be to the house to see if it can be repaired or needs to be demolished in the near future. Despite this nightmare, the Thomas' are thankful for their safety.

"I mean we're still together no matter what and our house did its job and protected us when it needed too," said Erica Thomas. "I hate thinking of leaving it, but we're still together."

The Thomas' are glad they have insurance and encourage other homeowners to check their policy. They say this isn't the first fatal accident on county road 220 and hope something is done to prevent any further catastrophes.

"We've seen some tragedies because of these train tracks over the past ten years," said Toby Thomas.

They say they won't be sleeping in the front room of their home again, but are holding each other a little tighter from now on.

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