RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — This is the fifth time the Bernarte family has either had a car crash into their yard or into their home.
They’ve tried to get help to protect their home from these kinds of accidents, but after Saturday night’s fatal crash they’re just about at their wit’s end.
“We’re pretty much at the mercy of errant drivers,” said owner of the home, Carlo Bernarte.
Bernarte says since he and his family moved into the home off North New Hope Road eight years ago, it’s been accident after accident.
Related story: Driver dies after Raleigh home is hit by cars for 5th time
“First time was in ’07, second time was in ’08, third time was in 2013, fourth time was last year, 2014, and now, this year,” he said.
Neighbors say cars have been crashing into the home or the neighborhood sign in its front yard since it was built.
“At least 10 times, at least…. How can this happen to the same house over and over again?,” said neighbor Audley Murphy.
Bernarte says it’s happened so much it’s become a routine of sorts for his family.
“Screeching sound and then a loud thud. I knew it was another accident.”
No one in the house has been injured in any of the incidents, but Bernarte still says the occurrences are frightening. In the most recent fatal crash, Bernarte says he even tried to help the driver that crashed into his home.
“I actually see him gasping for air.”
Bernarte has been in touch with the City of Raleigh to do something about the constant crashes, requesting an addition to a guard rail along New Hope Road. In an email WNCN obtained, the city says NCDOT looked into a guard rail extension, but decided it would not work because the rail would block the line of sight of drivers exiting the neighborhood.
In the emails Raleigh officials also say other precautions have been implemented on the road, including new LED street lights and an NCDOT safety project regarding signage and pavement markers.
Bernarte was also told a concrete “pork chop” would be placed at the entry to the neighborhood to provide some kind of barrier, but he hasn’t heard anything about it since April. At this point, Bernarte says the only thing left for him to do is move.
“We have to, you know? Because we can’t be lucky all the time,” he said.
In a wreck report released Monday, alcohol is suspected in the crash but results were pending.