Car crash took out front porch of BG home PDF Print E-mail
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 19 June 2014 09:29
Mark Ankney and his wife Pat Ankney are seen in front of their home in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
On one of those bitterly cold, snowy nights this winter, Mike and Pat Ankney were tucked in bed in their historic home on the corner of Haskins Road and West Wooster Street.
She was drowsing off as he clicked on the television.
Then an explosion rocked them awake. A car careening down Wooster up to 90 mph plowed into their home. The hood of the airborne car came within feet of their bed.
"When she hit, it was like an explosion - debris everywhere," said Pat Ankney.
The shockwave through the home was so violent, it knocked all of Ankney's shoes off a rack - in another bedroom.
Five months later, the house is still being pieced back together. The car caused $80,000 worth of damage to the 114-year-old home.
The biggest, immediate fear was that the home's structure was so badly damaged that it wouldn't stand up for repairs. It took about two weeks to get the all clear to start renovating in earnest.
By then, Mike Foreman and his crew had snuggled the house in tarps and a type of bubble wrap. The Ankneys only left the house for one night while the repairs were made. That was the first night when the gas meter had been taken out by the car and there was no heat. By 3 p.m. the next afternoon, the furnace was working again and the Ankneys were back home.
"Since the kids are grown and gone, we could just move from bedroom to bedroom as Mike was working," Pat Ankney said.
"I didn't want to live out of a hotel," added Mark Ankney.
There were only two rooms that weren't affected by the crash: the dining room and kitchen. The car cracked walls and windows, loosened floorboards and ruined the landscaping.
Through the record cold and snowy winter, Foreman and his crew re-plastered and painted. All three levels, including the full basement, were damaged by the car.
"They just painstakingly took everything off, a piece at a time and labeled it and put it back a piece at a time," Pat Ankney said.
The worst damage was the porch which, with its view of town and other historic homes on Wooster Street, was a favorite spot of the Ankneys and one of the main reasons they purchased it 27 years ago.
Of the six columns, five were damaged.
The age of the house, though, probably saved it. The front door, with its original wood, didn't have one crack. Foreman said the foundation was probably saved because the home was so solidly built with hearty wood.
In their almost three decades at 804 W. Wooster St., the couple raised three children, Amanda, Nick and Scott. Mark Ankney is a retired Bowling Green State University police officer and Pat Ankney works for Buckeye Cable.
"We're the fifth owner of the house and no one had ruined the woodwork," Pat Ankney said of its selling points. "It's just a nice old farmhouse, good for the kids."
There had been accidents outside the home over the years. One driver mowed down a fire hydrant and another skimmed the corner too fast and hit some of the yard's boulders - which the Ankneys suspect former owners placed there to protect the house from wayward motorists.
They don't harbor any animosity toward the driver, Eleesha Long, who was cited for operating a vehicle under the influence and driving with a disregard for safety. The OVI charge was later dropped and she paid a $150 fine and court costs, according to Bowling Green Municipal Court records. The Ankneys said she was uninsured and their homeowners' insurance is footing the bill for repairs.
Pat Ankney said her car came to rest a foot from their bed - slowed down by that porch - and one of the columns from the porch landed inches from the driver's seat.
"All things considered, we were pretty lucky," Pat Ankney said.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 June 2014 02:55

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