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Six parked cars hit at Castle Point

Kaitlynn Riely | Monday, January 22, 2007

A man driving a Lincoln truck hit at least six cars parked in a lot in the Enchanted Forest section of Castle Point Apartments early Sunday morning, residents said.

St. Joseph County spokesperson Jaimee Thirion did not return Observer phone calls Sunday, so the exact count of damaged cars is unknown. At least three of the cars belonged to Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s students. Another belonged to Rachel Davis, 26, a Castle Point resident who witnessed the accident.

Davis said she woke up between 4:20 a.m. and 4:30 to the sound of the truck crashing into her car and five others.

“He hit my car first, then he hit the back of the car next to me – a Jeep – and then he hit the other girl’s car and pushed it forward,” Davis said. “Then he hit another car on the side and pushed that car into two other cars.”

Davis said she could not estimate the extent of the damage, but said “nobody was driving any of them today.”

The car came down the street through Enchanted Forest and did not turn at the curve in the road, but just kept going straight, she said.

It only took about two minutes for police to arrive after Davis called them, she said. A security guard for Castle Point was also present at the crash site.

Castle Point is located outside of South Bend, so South Bend Police public information officer Phil Trent said St. Joseph County Police would respond to incidents at the complex. The Observer was unable to reach County police or a Castle Point manager Sunday.

Davis said she saw three St. Joseph County Police cars and one Roseland Police car at the scene. She said she spoke to police, who told her the man driving the car was intoxicated.

“He didn’t even get out of his truck until the police got there,” Davis said. “I think they just took him.”

Police also told her the man driving the truck lived in Enchanted Forest, Davis said, but she did not recognize him.

“A couple other people said they recognized the car,” Davis said.

Anne Cusack and Meghan MacKinnon, both Saint Mary’s seniors, said when they left their apartment in Enchanted Forest Sunday morning to go to church, they discovered their cars had been hit. MacKinnon’s car was pushed forward and Cusack’s car was two parking spaces over from where it had been.

“I went out and where we live there is a big hill … and my car was hanging over the ditch like it was about to fall,” MacKinnon said. “The rear bumper was completely off – it’s cracked in half.”

The back of Cusack’s car collapsed on itself, Cusack said. The gas tank and the wheels of her car were also damaged.

Notre Dame senior Rena Zarah said she was not at her apartment early Sunday morning, but her roommate called her when she woke up to tell her that her new 2006 Honda CRV had been hit.

“It was parked in the spot right across from my apartment,” Zarah said. “It was my favorite spot. When it is open everyone always fights for it.”

She said her car was “wedged in between two other cars.”

“When they move the two cars that are surrounding my car, it’s just going to scrape my car more,” Zarah said.

Cusack and MacKinnon’s insurance companies gave them numbers of local auto repair shops, MacKinnon said. Their cars will be towed today, she said, and they will get rental cars to drive until they are fixed.

“It will probably take a week to two weeks, and Anne’s car may even be totaled,” MacKinnon said.

The police told Davis to call the records department at the police station on Monday to get the accident report, she said. Zarah said she heard the man driving the truck had car insurance.

“I just hope that his insurance covers it,” she said.