Car crashes in Dubuque house - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Car crashes in Dubuque house


DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- A Dubuque house got an unwelcome new entrance early Sunday morning.

Ron and Jean Heim live at 12606 Kennedy Road, which is at the tip of a T intersection.

When 18-year-old Joshua Zurn failed to stop at the Derby Grange Road stop sign, he flew right through the Heims' yard and into their living room.

"I thought someone was breaking into my house," Ron Heim said.

Heim said he grabbed his gun to protect his wife and son from what he thought was an intruder and called 911 on an old cell phone, since the crash shut off the home phone line.

It wasn't until the Dubuque County Sheriff's Department arrived that the family found out a car had plowed into their living room. Since Zurn's 2001 Ford Taurus was so covered with debris and it was so dark at 1 a.m. without the electricity that the impact had knocked out, they couldn't tell what had happened.

"We looked and run down the hallway, and the hallway was all blocked," Heim said.

The good news is that none of the family members nor the driver were injured, but Heim said the damage is an estimated $30,000-$40,000.

Jean Heim said the most valuable items are irreplaceable.

"Yes, it is my worst nightmare, because we can replace everything but this," she said, holding up a box of crushed video tapes of their wedding, memories of their late parents and the birth of their son. "That was our biggest concern, because we've lost all that. Our memories."

The Heims said this isn't the first time a car has sped through the intersection and onto their property.

"There's the phone box, two years ago, where they hit," Ron Heim said, pointing to an electrical box down an embankment from Kennedy Road. "Ended up down here, right by my garage, the car did."

With the more recent accident, the car landed a little closer to home.

"They would've ended up in our bedroom," Ron Heim said, commenting on the car's path through his yard had it been just 30 feet to the left. "That's our window over there. If it'd came through this way, it would've killed us, probably."

The Heims said they don't expect to be back in their house for Thanksgiving, but they're certainly thankful for one thing.

"We're all lucky to be alive," Ron Heim said. "We all come out safe."

The Heims are staying with family right now and expect to be back in their home within a couple of months if inspectors say the building is structurally sound.

The 18-year-old driver fled the scene after the accident. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department caught him three hours later, just a little after 4 a.m. Sunday.

The Dubuque Police say Zurn had been in an accident on Friday as well, which got him a traffic light violation.

Sunday's house incident is still under investigation.

Online Reporter: Becca Habegger

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