San Diego

Speeding Car Smashes Into El Cajon Home's Front Yard, Police Say

An El Cajon homeowner said a speeding car that crashed into his yard Wednesday night was the second vehicle to damage his home in the last decade.

Frank Lentz owns the home on Ballantyne Street south of Broadway near State Route 67 and rents it out to Daniel Smith and his fiancée, who awoke to loud bangs at about 10:45 p.m. 

"My fiancée woke me up. She said, 'Someone hit the house,'" Smith said. 

A black sedan crashed through a retaining wall along the perimeter of his home. The porch was destroyed and a window was smashed. Smith said debris from the wall went flying into the home. 

Smith said the retaining wall "really helped soften up the blow." 

That wall was installed eight years ago after an RV crashed through the same front yard, according to Lentz. 

"After the first time, we built this wall to protect the house, thinking that would be the end of it," Lentz said while surveying the damage for the first time. "Well, here's what happened to the wall. Had we not had the wall, a car would have probably been in the house."

 El Cajon police said the driver was speeding before he lost control and crashed. 

"The smell of burning rubber was overwhelming and it was kind of dusty," Smith said.

The driver was hurt and medics transported him for treatment. No one else was injured.

Officers were expected to test the driver's sobriety levels but it was not clear if alcohol or drugs were suspected.

Lentz said he would bring in a structural engineer to ensure the home was safe for his tenants to live in. As to repairing the damage, Lentz said he doesn't know what he will do."

"We just went through a major renovation recently. Had to replumb the house. Now we're back to square one."

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