OLDS — One of the homeowners impacted by an out-of-control SUV north of Calgary knows it could have been a lot worse.
While Doug Wagstaff wasn’t home when a Jeep Cherokee lost control at a nearby intersection and sailed into two homes in Olds, Alta. Friday morning, he takes comfort that nobody was seriously hurt.
“It truly was a miracle that nobody was seriously injured or killed,” Wagstaff said Saturday.
Olds is approximately 100 km. north of Calgary.
Accelerating away from a stop sign at 54 Street and 57 Avenue in the town’s west end, the SUV became airborne after running down a light standard. Taking out a wooden fence as it flew six metres through an adjacent backyard, it punched a large hole in a neighbouring home and took out a detached garage before slamming into the base of Wagstaff’s Balsam Crescent house.
According to police, the Jeep’s two elderly occupants weren’t seriously hurt in the crash. The male driver reportedly suffered a medical episode that caused him to lose control, and police say they have no plans to lay charges.
Wagstaff, who serves as the town’s Chief Operating Officer, was with the fire department’s acting fire chief when emergency services were initially dispatched to the call.
Not immediately aware that it was his home emergency crews were heading to, his first thoughts upon arriving on scene were of his fellow residents.
“When I first arrived on our block, I was quite concerned for our neighbours,” he said.
“I knew all of my family was out of town, so I knew they were safe.”
Aside from the destroyed patio, the concrete foundation of Wagstaff’s home took the brunt of the damage.
While he was given a preliminary all-clear for his family to return home, Wagstaff won’t know the longer-lasting extent of the damage until a more thorough inspection is carried out later this week.
While Wagstaff’s next-door neighbour suffered more physical damage — a gaping hole peering into the home’s master bedroom and a demolished garage – he knows the outcome could have been a lot worse.
“When I looked back at some of the photos I had taken, I noticed that there weren’t any tire tracks in the snow — the car literally launched,” he said.
“It literally is a miracle.”