Local

Bizarre crash leaves car on N.W. Fresno roof

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A family in Northwest Fresno was stunned Wednesday morning to find a car on the roof of their apartment. Police said a man who stole a car landed it on an apartment located on Emerson and Charles.

Ralph White and his family got a rude awakening just after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning when a car plopped right on top of their apartment roof.

"We just looked on the roof because saw stuff falling and stuff smoking. So we looked in there and my cousin was like, 'It's a car on the roof.' And she was like, 'Go get somebody.' So I ran to my neighbors house and then told her and she called the police," said White.

Police and fire crews arrived on scene to find neighbors taking pictures with their cell phones.

Witnesses couldn't believe their eyes. "There's a bunch of apartments right here the car just flowed over. I don't know how it landed so perfectly on the roof but it was a miracle I guess," said Francisco Perez.

The speed limit in the area is 30 miles per hour. Police said he clearly went faster than that. In fact, they said he hit this curb then hit rocks that launched his car onto the top of the roof.

The 26-year-old driver jumped off the roof and broke his leg. Officers say Benjamin Tucker stole the car from a nearby house and even attempted to run back to the house before getting caught a quarter mile away.

Fresno police arrested Tucker who already had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. He now faces a number of charges including hit-and-run and running away from an officer.

A tow truck company had to use a special crane to get sedan down from the roof.

Piecing together this mystery proved to be a challenge for investigators.

"When I was on my way out here, my officers told me that they thought Santa was driving car. But I realized that was just a joke. I really don't know how the car got up there," said Lt. Anthony Martinez with the Fresno Police Department.

With the sun brightening up the fog hours later, Ralph White and his cousin still find it hard to believe what happened on their family's roof. "Everybody is still in shock. It's crazy."

The apartment avoided any major interior damage but roof repairs will be required.

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Tags:
crimetracker, auto theft, fresno, fresno county, fresno northwest, local, tommy tran
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