Philip LeBlanc has been in the real estate business for 14 years, but he’s never gotten a text like the one he woke up to Wednesday.
The text said, “Mr. LeBlanc, this is Long Beach Police Department dispatch. We wanted to advise you that the property at 100 Quarles was just hit by a vehicle causing damage. Please contact us.”
Big groan. The house was under contract. A nice young couple with a toddler planned to move in by Christmas.
LeBlanc, who works for Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty, dressed and drove to Quarles Street. The corner of the house was heavily damaged. A driver believed to be drunk had hit it in a Dodge Avenger.
A neighbor on Royal Drive saw the whole thing from his front porch Tuesday night, Assistant Police Chief Alan Bond said.
The Avenger was speeding north on Royal. The road ends at a four-way stop. Instead of stopping, the driver drove through a privacy fence and crashed into the southeast corner of the house, busting up siding, smashing through the interior drywall and cracking the brick facade on the front.
The witness saw the driver, wearing a red shirt, jump out and run. The crash was called in to police at 10:11 p.m. They found empty beer cans and liquor bottles in the car, Bond said.
Police soon enough tracked down the vehicle’s owner, who had loaned out the car.
LeBlanc received the text from Long Beach police around 11 p.m. His phone was on silent for the night.
He’s called in a contractor who is boarding up the house to keep out varmints and curious children. LeBlanc is waiting on a police report and hopes the car’s owner has insurance to cover the damage.
He hated to break the news to the young couple who thought they would be celebrating Christmas in their first home. Hopefully, he said, they still will. LeBlanc is going to do what he can to make it happen.
Everything had been going so smoothly. The termite inspection was scheduled for Monday.
The news is very bad for the sellers, too — another young couple, this one struggling financially and back in California to live near family after the husband’s discharge from the Navy for medical reasons.
“We’ll figure it all out,” LeBlanc told the Sun Herald.
He posted about the crash on Facebook, concluding, “Thank God there was nobody in that front bedroom.”