It was the last thing John Holmberg was expecting.
He and his wife Mary had just arrived home at about 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, towing their boat behind their shiny new Mercedes Benz GLK-250. According to John, he carefully backed the boat trailer into his driveway at 422 2nd Ave. N., put the car in Park, opened the door and was about to step out when a pleasant Friday afternoon trip turned into a nightmare.
“My foot was barely out the door when the car took off like a shot,” he said. “It was as if the accelerator had been pushed to the floor. I held onto the wheel and hit the brakes, but the car kept going right across the street and into my neighbor’s yard. Mary and I were scared half to death.”
The car with the boat in tow took out the gas meter at 423 2nd Ave. N. before slamming through a fence, destroying a backyard greenhouse, and finally coming to rest under the splintered lumber and shattered glass of what a few minutes before had been an outdoor solarium.
Police, fire and gas company personnel rushed to the scene, secured the area, and quickly shut off the gas supply.
The Holmbergs had just taken delivery on the new car, the temporary dealer registration still taped to the back window. “That car has less than 1,000 miles on it,” said Holmberg. “It hasn’t even been washed yet. And now look at it.”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel