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Couple without home in Billings after truck hits house

Car hits house.jpg
Posted at 5:28 PM, Oct 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 10:32:12-04

BILLINGS — You often hear about families displaced from their homes due to fires or flooding, but this Billings case is a bit more unusual.

It was on the corner of 10th Street West and Central Avenue where Aaron Drake got the surprise of his life. A truck drove through a fence and hit his house. And while no one inside the house was hurt, it left his and his wife’s lives flipped upside down.

"I was just getting started for the day, getting my programs up and all that stuff for work and all of a sudden, I hear this really loud boom. What was going through my head is maybe one of the trees that was up above the house fell down, or a transformer blew. Or even that someone set off a firework in the park next door. The last thing that I thought was, 'oh, maybe somebody hit the house,'" said Drake.

It turns out that a truck plowed through the fence and into the side of their house, turning a normal day into a nightmare.

"We are currently staying at our friend’s house here in the Heights, and we honestly have nowhere to go," said Abigail Drake, wife of Aaron.

There was damage to the Drakes' residence, as well as their neighbor who rented the basement apartment below. Due to the damage, neither party is able to remain at the residence.

"The crack on the north side of the house goes probably six or seven feet from the corner of the foundation. And then there’s another crack about two feet above that," said Aaron.

After the crack was discovered and the property management company asked the tenants to vacate the property, reality set in.

"Honestly, it's been one roller coaster after another, and if I didn’t have the support of my family and my husband, I don't know where'd I'd be," said Abigail.

The couple is hoping to find an affordable place to live until their home can be repaired. However, after speaking with the homeowner, Aaron says it's "not likely to be anytime soon."

"He’s estimating it’ll be 6 -12 months if they can even get it fixed. They have to do permitting, inspect it, they have to lift it up and they have to wait for good enough weather to get a whole corner of the foundation redone. So, it's a minimum of six months but with the weather changing, it could be 12+ months if they can even get it fixed it and won’t get condemned. He said he wasn’t very hopeful that it won’t get condemned based on how much damage is there," Aaron added.

On top of being without a house in an instant, the Drakes say the memories will be what they miss the most if they can't return.

"The other thing is, it’s sentimental too. I mean this is one of my favorite places I’ve ever lived. It was a really good location. Really nice rent for what we had it was a good place for hosting and having friends over. It was very homey, and we made a lot of memories there in the last two and half years," said Aaron.