Businesses deal with aftermath of car driving off parking garage

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Several businesses remained closed after a car plunged four stories from a parking garage and onto the roofs of Upper Kirby area businesses. The crash happened Sunday near the intersection of Kirby and Richmond.

“I saw the car, like, bam! Like a movie,” said Mynor Gomez.

Gomez was just coming to work Sunday when he saw the car fall off the parking garage, which is behind a row of businesses.

“I was like, uh, oh my God! I got scared right away and ran,” said Gomez.

The sound of an incessant car horn filled Gomez' ears as he ran to the roof in time to see two people trying to help the 16 year old driver, who miraculously survived the crash without life-threatening injuries.

“Let's just say you can't prepare for something like that,” said Mary Ambrose.

Ambrose was at a bridal shower when she got a call saying that someone drove through the showroom of Westheimer Plumbing and Hardware. It was technically accurate, but not the complete picture.

“Certainly not what we thought of when we’re thinking about our insurance coverage,” said Ambrose.

In addition to punching through the roof and knocking out power to the business, the crash also ruptured the water line. Several businesses remained closed due to a lack of power and water.

“We had water standing in the entire 7,000 square feet of showroom space we have here,” said Ambrose.

It’s a heck of a mess for Ambrose and her business partners to clean up. Ambrose said she is still waiting on structural engineers to determine the full extent of damage. For now, the business is operating out of a warehouse space in Oak Forest. Still, Ambrose says she’s just glad the store was closed at the time and no one, including the teen driver, was seriously hurt.

“I think it's a miracle; hand of God on that young man,” said Ambrose.

Houston police told KPRC that the teen driver told officers he was trying to park and accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake. Police said that since the accident happened on private property, he won't get a ticket.

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