Jeffrey Romrell was thankful that he and his 3-year-old got out of the bedroom of their Kennewick house minutes before the trailer of an empty semi-truck slammed into the room.
“The whole thing shook,” he said. “It’s still a little shaky. There was a big old crash, like an earthquake basically.”
The flatbed trailer barreled into their rented home at 11:45 a.m. Friday on the 8000 block of West Arrowhead Avenue.
The driver of the truck, who was doing work for the city of Kennewick at Columbia Center Estates Park, was outside the truck, letting air pressure build up in the brake system, said Kennewick Police Officer Lee Cooper.
He didn’t have his parking brake on and the truck started to roll backward, Cooper said. The flatbed trailer the truck was pulling plowed into the empty bedroom.
“We get vehicles into buildings probably every couple months, so it’s not common, but it’s not super uncommon,” Cooper said.
A bed that once sat on the bedroom window was pushed about five feet across the room. Insulation, sheet-rock and two-by-fours were piled up inside. Romrell did not expect to be able to return to the house for a couple weeks.
Cooper said the house can still be lived in because no structural damage was caused.
“Basically, Kennewick did it, so they should probably fix it,” said Romrell, who has renter’s insurance.
Shannon Frame, a Kennewick customer service representative, said the driver was a contractor for the city.
“We are not responsible for any of the damages or any of the liability associated with that,” she said.
Friday, work crews were at the site of a playground that was removed earlier this month in Columbia Center Estates Park. The park is getting new playground equipment and 12 trees as part of an Arbor Day tree planting planned in April.