NEWS

North Vancouver man forced to live in home destroyed in car crash

01/23/2015 11:54 EST | Updated 03/25/2015 05:59 EDT
A 74-year-old North Vancouver man says he is doing the punishment for a crime he didn't commit. 

Early Saturday morning, a SUV careened off Mountain Avenue, took out a hydro pole and slammed into his home.

Doyle was at home asleep and was brutally woken up by the crash to find part of his home destroyed. 

"He was lucky he wasn't killed," said his friend and neighbour Andy Shuparski. 

"The living room has been wiped out, the front door has been wiped out, the garage has been shifted over. The bathroom has to be all ripped out and replaced and so does the spare bedroom."

The crash sounded like an explosion, he says, and brought back powerful memories of the Blitz when Doyle's childhood home was bombed three times and killed his father. 

While Doyle has insurance, repairs could take up to four months.He says he can't leave because he cannot afford to cover any of his expenses until the claim is settled. He also has a collapsed diaphragm and needs oxygen.

And if alcohol was involved in the crash as police suspect, then the driver's insurance is likely void. 

"I'm doing the punishment and they did the crime. But I'm paying for it, not them. They're probably home in their beds," Doyle said. 

Community rallies to find a new home

Still, his neighbourhood is rallying behind him and one real estate agent is trying to find someone to donate a free apartment while the repairs are done. 

But it isn't easy.

Doyle has two beloved Jack Russell terriers, he needs a hospital bed and is a smoker — all of which makes it a challenge to find him an apartment, much less a free one.

"I would like to see him in a basement suite, where he can come and go, and the little dogs can go out and he'll still have his privacy, but there will be somebody there to see if he needs anything," said real estate agent Shelley Williams. 

Doyle's friends hope someone steps up soon. 

"There is no heat or anything, there is just temporary power, so he's living through hell right now," said Shuparski.

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