ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Friday morning, a car drove into a house and started a fire. It’s the latest problem on a street in an otherwise quiet neighborhood, notorious for speeders cutting through it.
The speed limit on this road is 30 but residents told News 13 it’s common for drivers to go closer to 60. “I thought a plane hit the roof, I actually did, it was so loud,” says Chrissy Komis. But the explosion Komis heard early Friday morning was a car crashing into her home.”There was [sic] two explosions, one was the car, the impact of the car, and then he actually hit the gas line meter so that exploded too,” Komis says.
Komis has lived at her home on Washington and Altura for five years and she says speeders on Washington have been a constant issue. “There are some people who obey the speed limit and others who think it’s a freeway,” Komis says.
Other residents say it’s at its worst during the morning and evening rush hours. “You maybe get tunnel vision if you’re running late for work or on your way home after work trying to get there quick,” says Joseph Scholz.
Even with flashing radars on both sides of the thirty-mile-an-hour street, residents worry some drivers have learned to ignore the signs altogether. “Like 55 or 60 or so. It’s kind of downhill or uphill so it’s kind of easier to coast in there I think,” Scholz says.
Albuquerque police say the driver dropped a cigarette and reached down to grab it when he lost control of the car. Komis says drivers need to pay attention and be more considerate to the people who live around the busy street. “They need to slow down. they need to be careful. It could have been somebody on that side of the house. If it was a bedroom, [the person] could have been killed,” Komis says.
APD did a DWI investigation and the driver was sober but he will be cited for careless driving, running a stop sign, and speeding. City councilor Diane Gibson, who represents that area, tells News 13 she’s working with city traffic engineers to figure out what they can do to that stretch of Washington to slow drivers down.
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