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Camaro crashes through San Pablo house with 2 inside

JSO estimates driver was going 70-80 mph at time of crash that left him injured

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man was driving about 70 mph Monday evening when his Chevrolet Camaro went off the road and crashed through a house in the San Pablo area, according to a crash report. 

The crash, which happened about 7:40 p.m., destroyed the living room of the home on Port Arthur Road and left the driver and a woman inside the house injured. 

The crash report shows the 54-year-old man, who is listed as an immigration lawyer, was driving east on William Davis Parkway, went through the intersection of San Pablo Boulevard South onto Port Arthur Road and went off the road when he approached the curve.

"The car was literally 5 feet off the ground. It was surreal. It was like the movies," said Barry Templeton, who witnessed the crash.

According to the report, the Camaro then hit the curb, went airborne over a ditch, traveled through a fence and slammed through the back of the house on Port Arthur Road, pummeling through the living space and crashing through the front of the house. The Camaro ended up in the front yard and a fireplace landed in the street.

"There is about a 3-foot deep ditch directly behind the house. I went back and checked it out and he completely ... cleared it. I mean, his tires didn't even touch it. So he hit the curb and pretty much went airborne and went right through their backyard and went right through their house," said Robert Mills, who lives next door. "I could hear the car come through the house. More or less the engine was revving and it sounded like someone was out here doing doughnuts in the guy's driveway."

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office estimated the driver was going 70 to 80 mph at the time of the crash. He was not tested for alcohol or drugs, but the crash reports stated he was "physically impaired" at the time of the crash. The driver was taken to Memorial hospital, where he was reportedly in critical condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

Two people were in the home at the time.

"The people at the house were very fortunate. Material things can be replaced, but life can't," JFRD  Capt. Eric Prosswimmer said Monday night. "I will be honest with you, I don't think reality has fully set in yet. I think there is an adrenaline rush it will get harder as the night and time goes by."

The woman inside the house told News4Jax that she was sitting in the living room when the car plowed through the house right in front of her. She has a broken foot and a cut, but overall, she said she is thankful to be alive. Her boyfriend, who was in a different room, was not hurt.

Templeton said he met the woman when he pulled over to help after witnessing the crash.

"I said, 'Where were you at?' And she said, 'I was sitting right here in this chair on the couch.' And the couch is in pieces," Templeton recounted the next day. "It (has) to be God because there is no way that car went through there without hitting her."

The family was working Tuesday to clean up the mess left behind, board up the house and figure out what comes next.

According to JSO records, Monday night’s crash of the car through the house on Port Arthur Road was the 13th at that intersection of San Pablo Road South since 2016. It was by far the worst. The other 12 were all non-injury accidents. 


About the Authors:

Jenese Harris

Reporter, weekend anchor and movie reviewer.

Allyson Henning

Florida-born multi-media journalist pays special attention to issues in St. Johns County.