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Car slams into Bayside residence on homeowner’s birthday

Photos courtesy of Thomas Cheesman

A Bayside family had a rude awakening Monday morning when a car turned their living room upside down after it slammed into their home.

Hella Cheesman was awoken at around 8 a.m. by a loud booming noise as the incident took place just outside her home on 202nd Street and 46 Avenue.

According to Cheesman’s son Thomas — who resides in the house part time along with his parents and brother — a car crashed through the gate of the home and into the exterior of the structure where the living room is located.

Items stored outside the home were mangled upon the impact, including bicycles and a washing machine.

Inside the living area, visible cracks were created as the walls of the home were strained to the breaking point. Broken glass particles, family memorabilia and other items were scattered throughout the area as wall unit and framed photos tumbled to the floor.

Although the Cheesmans did not come face to face with the driver responsible for the incident, they were told she was riding with two passengers — an elderly woman and a small girl of about 5 years old. They say the driver reportedly told the police the incident was caused by her brakes malfunctioning, and that a neighbor who witnessed the accident estimated her speed to have been more than 30 miles per hour just before the collision.

The family was forced to have their utilities turned off as they put the pieces of their home back together, and so they are currently without a phone, electricity or gas.

While Thomas expected much of the costs to be covered by the family’s insurance, he did not expect the damage to be repaired by the upcoming holiday season. To make matters worse, that morning had been Hella Cheesman’s birthday and the family patriarch had just returned from vacation to celebrate.

“I wish I could’ve given my mom a better birthday present,” Thomas Cheesman said, later adding, “It’s going to be a long road to recovery in the next few days.”

Although she mentioned nothing of her own birthday, Hella Cheesman said felt thankful for neighbors who came over to clean up the damage left behind.

She became emotional when adding that it could have been much worse, as she often sleeps a sofa in the living room because of a bad back. She was at a loss when asked what she would say to the person responsible for the crash.

“Are you okay, is everybody okay? Is your car okay?” Hella Cheesman said. “What would you say to a woman like that?”

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