Arthur Pitre had just checked on his autistic son Chaz McQuaig at home Friday morning when he heard tires screech and then -- boom!
Pitre fell to the floor, then saw McQuaig, dazed, stumbling out of his parents' bedroom, where he had been watching Judge Hatchett on TV.
Snug against the queen bed, amid a riot of shredded wood, shattered glass and torn family mementos, was a gray Chevrolet Caprice where a dresser and two walls were supposed to be.
A two-car collision at a wreck-prone intersection had sent the 1990 Caprice crashing into the Pitre's rental home at 1220 Pender St., near St. Augustine's College, about 10:45 a.m.
"I heard the car skidding, but I couldn't tell which way it was coming from," Pitre, a welder, said later as his adopted son awaited emergency treatment at WakeMed's main hospital.
"It was so loud," he said. "When I looked at it, I couldn't believe it."
The Caprice careened into the three-bedroom home after striking a 1997 Ford SUV at the cramped intersection of Pender Street and St. Augustine Avenue, where parked cars block the view.
The driver of the Caprice, Cortez D'Angelo Scarboro, 20, and the driver of the SUV, Kenneth L. Evans, 39, were treated for minor injuries, witnesses said.
Evans was charged with a stop sign violation, said his brother, Chris Evans. But Kenneth Evans had come to a stop and saw no one coming, his brother said. The Caprice seemed to come out of nowhere, he said.
After the crash, Pitre, 54, called his wife at work in Youngsville and told her to come home.
Henrietta Green Pitre, 48, said the episode didn't surprise her.
The Pitres' front door is about eight feet from the intersection.
"People run the stop sign all the time," she said. "We always knew it would happen. But we never figured it would be the bedroom."
She said Chaz, 22, seemed unhurt beyond cuts and bruises, but he was to be examined for internal injuries. He doesn't talk.
Friday afternoon, workers were shoring up the tan wood-frame house's roof and building temporary walls. Reconstruction is expected to take weeks.
By Friday evening, the Pitres were moving food and clothes to a nearby apartment owned by their landlord, Joyner Realty Co.
"It looks like a shoe box, but it's better than being outside," Mr. Pitre said. "When we got up this morning, we didn't know we were going to move today."
Or visit the hospital.
"It could have been worse," he said. "Somebody could be dead."
Staff writer Matthew Eisley can be reached at 829-4538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.