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Speeding driver crashes into home in Claraboya

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

A alleged speeding driver lost control of his vehicle Friday afternoon and crashed through the front of a home in Claraboya.

At about 12:15 p.m., a white Dodge SUV was traveling up Mountain Avenue when the driver lost control, crashing into a home in the 2600 block.

According to the homeowner, Holly Wenzl, after the SUV left the roadway it narrowly skirted between a stone mailbox and a substantial pine tree, before hitting a large rock in the middle of the yard which propelled it through the air. The vehicle then went through the wall and window of a guest room causing extensive damage to the home.

The driver, Monrovia resident Robert Parra, 31, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of driving without a license, according to Claremont Police Lieutenant Jason Walters. There were no injuries and police say drugs and alcohol were not a factor. Mr. Parra was released later that afternoon with a citation to appear at Pomona Superior Court.

Detectives will continue the investigation and could bring further charges against Mr. Parra, Lt. Walters said.

Ms. Wenzl’s husband Ken was in the home’s kitchen and heard the crash but did not realize that the house had been hit in part because the impact also triggered the home’s alarm. When Mr. Wenzl investigated he found debris in the hallway and upon opening the front door saw the SUV halfway inside his home.

Mr. Parra said he needed to call his girlfriend, to which Mr. Wenzl responded, “I am going to call 9-1-1.”

Police at the scene told the Wenzls that the driver had borrowed the vehicle, was driving on a suspended license and was on his phone at the time of the crash.

Ms. Wenzl said that speeding is a problem on Mountain Avenue in Claraboya but she never expected that a driver headed uphill would cause a crash. She also said that a week earlier her granddaughter was staying in the guest room where the vehicle came to rest.

The Wenzls purchased the mid-century modern home in November of 2017 and had only recently completed a major renovation.

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