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Crawling Through the Wreckage

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George David Denardo III, 19, wanted for failure to appear, sped off when police tried to pull him over in Norfolk, VA, lost control and slammed into the side of the house of Travis and Marsha Richason at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, punching a hole in the sheet rock wall just inches from their 3 year-old daughter TaylorAnn’s bed. She slept through the commotion.

Denardo clambered through the wreckage and fled on foot. He is now wanted for felony hit and run, evasion, and driving on a suspended license, in addition to the failure to appear.

“I got me a souvenir,” Travis Richason told AP, showing a crumpled license plate he found in a crawl space under their house after the car was towed.

I have a similar story of my own. When we were in high school, a good friend of mine lived in quaint, cozy downtown Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

One night, he and his family of (I believe) eight were enjoying a little televised entertainment when they heard a knock at the back door. This was unusual because the entire family was present in the TV room — this being the ’70s when families still did such things — and the back yard was fenced. Who could it be?

They went to investigate en masse because it was an Anson Williams-directed episode of Happy Days airing that night, and a knock on the back door seemed more interesting.

The father opened the door with some slight trepidation, but no one was there. They all fanned out into the back yard and poked around under bushes and shrubs, but the source of the knock remained a mystery.

Just as they began filing back into the house, a drunken Porsche doing 65 in a 25 zone veered left to avoid a cat, jumped the curb, struck the huge decorative boulder in the family’s front yard flower garden, careened upward and ripped through the wall at eye level of the formerly peaceful and tidy TV room with accompanying apocalyptic destruction, dust and din.

Richie and Fonzie never knew what hit them.

The dipsomaniacal driver was nonplussed but virtually unharmed as he found himself abruptly parked and indoors. The family was stunned but untouched as their knees collectively buckled in recognition of the carnage they had so narrowly escaped by the grace of a phantom knock on the back door.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • bhw


    When I was in h.s., someone drove a car into the front living room of a friend’s house, which was at least 70 feet from the street. My friend’s father had just gone to bed a few minutes earlier. The couch he’d been sitting on was crushed.

    Seriously lucky dude….

  • Taloran

    A high school friend, whose house sat on a dangerous curve where people drove far too fast, related a similar story. His mom was washing the dishes after dinner one night, when all of a sudden a VW Bug landed in the kitchen sink, throwing his mother across the kitchen into the far wall. Miraculously neither the driver nor my friend’s mother were injured.

    My friend’s dad quickly reworked the front yard with large boulders along the roadway. People contionued to slam into the boulders at high speed as long as I remained in touch with my old friend, but noone ever again made it into the kitchen in their vehicle.