Parked Cars Getting Hit Surprisingly Common

22Nov08 005, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

A friend of mine used to live on 14th Street near Shepherd and her parked car got hit three times. Three freaking times. She finally moved. I had no idea this was such a common occurrence. Thanks to a reader for sending the photos. The reader writes:

“I awoke @ 2:30 a.m. to engine roaring, screeching of tires, and a lot of smoke as the driver of a Toyota SUV detached the front wheel off by forcing the vehicle into reverse until the wheel wrenched off its axle. The wheel was stuck, damaged , in the storm drain after hitting my sister’s car and bouncing back. Unbelievably the driver was able to force the SUV onward another 1/2 mile with only 3 wheels and a deployed airbag, up a big curb by Children’s. I gave chase and took more pics. The ambulance was treating the guy who was not seriously injured. It was not a stolen the car – the driver/owner was that drunk. 8 or so other cars were damaged. Sis’s car was pushed into the car ahead with enough force to destroy its bumper and break the rear window.”

Intangible Arts also heard from the reader and heard the accident itself on Irving Street.

Insane. Has this happened to anyone else reading here? More photos after the jump.

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22 Comment

  • You should check out the car that’s been sitting on the North side or Riggs Road west of the Kmart. i’ve been seeing it on my way to the Hyattsville Home Depot for months now. it looks like someone rammed into the back of that car at about 40 mph, and the owner has just left the car sitting in the right hand lane ever since (and of course, no one has had it towed off).

  • My parked car was hit twice, once in DC and once in MD. Both times witnesses said the driver was drunk.

    I lived on a street where someone tripping on boat knocked over 10 cars off the street onto the sidewalk. It was car-nage.

  • It seems to happen a lot in our part of town. There’s the drunk-parked-car-hitting, but what seems even more frequently, is the drunk-being-chased-by-the-police-parked-car-hitting. Apparently, people who decide to try and outrun the police think that taking Rt 1 (Rhode Island Ave) from Maryland into DC is a good idea.

  • Vonstallin

    My street use to have parking on one side, once my neighbors petitioned to get parking on both sides of the street then the park car smashing began. The last hit park car or rather mini van was a few weeks ago. Side swipe and took half the front bumper off.

  • Here’s my story. I have great neighbors. I apologize in advance the the length of this.

    Once a year I have a three-week trip to Connecticut that requires a lot of office-equipment and a car throughout. This year I rented a Jeep the day before I left and drove it to my Petworth home. Because I had to park it on the street overnight, I decided not to load up the computers, printers, fax machine, etc until early the next morning.

    When I went to the car the next day, a gentleman who lives a few houses down called to me from his window and said my car had been hit overnight (around 2:30 the night before while I slept). He came down and let me know that he saw it happened and made sure the driver left a note and waited until the police arrived.

    Sure enough, a note with his name, address, phone number and insurance information was waiting under the wipers. Additionally, the contact info for the police officer who responded was there as well. The care was dinged up pretty badly but still driveable, so I went on my merry way, faxed all of this to my rental car company and when I returned the car 21 days later they let me know that everything would be taken care of and I would not have to deal with this any more.

    I hope I can return the favor to my neighbor some day.

  • i think it’s like the littering problem. a general lack of respect / disrespect for others, their property, and their safety.
    other such signs:
    – speeding through red lights
    – not stopping at stop signs
    – switching lanes back and forth without signaling
    – tailgating like a maniac
    – excessive speed in residential neighborhoods

    The list goes on, but all point back to the same lack of respect for others.

  • I used to live on Otis Place between 11th and 10th NW in Columbia Heights. My car was hit but it wasn’t that bad. My front bumper was torn off along with some trim and my driver’s side view mirror was damaged. Thank goodness for my insurance. They covered the damage without charging me up the arse to have it fixed.

  • I think a few things contribute to this being so common here:

    -Lots of folks don’t have insurance. I don’t know if things have changed, but there used to be no verification of insurance when you registered/plated a car. You could just go to the DMV, pay your money, and write down anything in the insurance box and be on your way. The joke used to be “allstate and any 8 numbers”. Many states have verification, but DC didn’t at least a few years ago.

    -MPD has a ‘no chase’ police for damn near everything short of a witnessed homicide. Why not run?

    -Auto theft is basically an extracurricular sport for DCPS kids. I’d say a good percentage of the really bad parked CAR-nage folks see from hit and runs are from a stolen cars.

  • Same thing happened to our car near at the intersection of Randolph and Kansas. Our car was only hit once, but several other neighbors cars were hit several times on the street. Once a parked ambulance even got run into! I campaigned Fenty’s office for a 4-way stop sign for several years while we lived here and he was in Ward 4, to no avail. Now we have 4-way stops at either end of the block and it has helped tremendously. People do still run the stops but it has definitely cut down on the number of parked car hits on our street.

  • Yep, we lost our side mirror to some jerk last year. Plus on a different occasion some cosmetic damage.

    On another topic, vehicle thefts seem to be up. Our car got broken into last month, window bashed out. Not good! Obviously the police never caught anyone even though I highly suspect the kids who live on that backstreet.

  • This happened to me a long time ago when I lived in Dupont. I’d forgotten to move my car from the side of Q St where there’s no rush hour parking, and someone rammed into the back of my car, causing about $2500 in damage. The police officer said the guy had a long list of similar driving mishaps, but at least he (still) had insurance. I got the money, and then sold my car (in addition to this wreck, my car had gotten broken into 6 times in one year – I was happy to be rid of it), and lived car-free for a couple years.

  • After 5 years of mishap-free driving in Chicago I moved to DC and in less than 6 months my car window was smashed in, a side mirror was bashed off, and, finally, she was put out of her misery by a driver at 16th and Columbia who took out 3 other parked cars at the same time. Amazingly, according to the police report, the pavement was not wet, the driver was not drunk/sleeping/having a seizure, and no one was hurt. And it has been a relief to be car-less for the past year.

  • Earlier this year there were three cars hit on 13th Street between Irving and Kenyon. Two cars had massive gauges from bumber to bumper (both fenders and doors most likely had to be replaced – they couldn’t be pounded back). The third and last car to be hit)was a Mini Cooper and because it was so light it was literally thrown a few yards forward – but lucky was the least damaged of the three.

  • re:> It was not a stolen the car – the driver/owner was that drunk.

    Whew! When I read about the evils of drinking and driving, I gave up driving.

  • so glad i have a garage and driveway.

    as long as we are on the subject of dumb drivers, i cant stand people driving through blasting gogo or their spanish language pop music at full volume late into the night. yeah, do you think we all want to hear your music while we sleep? jerks.

  • Back when we were dating, my now husband would often park his car overnight near the intersection of 16th and Harvard Streets NW. At this point Harvard Street is one way headed East. One morning he woke up to find his car had been front-ended. Hood completely smashed. Some bozo drove the wrong way and then veered into it, I guess. He came back to my apartment to dial the police and insurance. Before he could get a tow truck there the DC cops gave him a $100 ticket for violating rush hour stipulations (car was not drivable) and towed it around the block. So annoying. Luckily once he submitted pictures that ticket was cancelled.

  • This happened to my old car 3 times. The last time was so bad my car was totaled. Freakin’ mad I was. I had that car (Honda Civic Hatchback) for roughly 16 years. I wish I could have found that f**ktard…. Can you tell I’m still mad????? It was a standard – I love standard transmission. I now have a freakin’ automatic transmission Volvo – I hate freakin’ automatic transmissions…… Yes I am still bitter. That was the car I got when I was 18 and took it to college, that little car was the best. I want it back……. OK rant done now.

  • dc now tracks if you have insurance. i had let my motorcycle insurance expire last winter because i wasn’t riding. dc sent me a letter asking me to turn in my plates because my insurance was over. i ignored it. now i have to pay $1000 to be able to get new plates for my new bike.

    read the laws and OBEY THEM. dc isn’t as f*cktardish as they used to be…..

  • I played chicken with an elderly couple taking their Cadillac east on the 700 block of Kenyon just the other day…

  • yup…totally happened to me on L st NE a few years ago. Kids joyriding in a stolen car (all never caught, but, witnesses said they all looked under/barely 16) turned onto L from 6th st and slammed into the bar behind mine, shoving my 4 door sedan into a pick up truck in front of me. $8,000 worth of repairs later (I don’t know why GEICO didn’t total it), my car still had quirks. I just traded it in when I got a new car, no way I was going to sell my problem car to someone.

  • This happened to me several years ago when I had to park my car on Grant Circle because there was construction on our street. During the night, someone plowed into my legally parked car and totalled it. But luckily, some nice individual witnessed the accident, that also damaged another car parked on the circle. He put a note on my windshield with the driver’s tag # and vehicle description. The insurance company did little to track her down, but I found the woman who hit my car. Her insurance company paid up, but my beloved red Toyota was dead. Time to buy a new Toyota and we did.

  • Ugh. I have had three car problems since I moved to Columbia Heights a year ago. All occurred right outside my front door. (I live a block from the Giant). First was a break in, and then TWO hit and runs. The first was in May in broad daylight. @#$% took off my door while I WAS IN THE CAR! I was too stunned to get the license plate, but my neighbors tried to no avail. Broad daylight.

    The second time was last weekend. I parked the car safely Saturday night 15 feet from the hydrant and woke up Sunday to have it smashed into a van which was smashed into another car. It’s totaled. (Also a red Toyota, Toby, except I’m debating whether to get a new car or to just zip it from now on).

    Honestly, our street should be a one way street, but no excuse. Thanks for this post. I’m amazed at these responses.

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