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Car drives into School Board president’s house
What is left of a wall of Ketchikan School Board President Trevor Shaw’s home on Paulf Road is shown the day after a Wednesday night car crash knocked out power and destroyed the guest bedroom. Staff photo by Zachary Halaschak

Daily News Staff Writer

 Ketchikan School Board President Trevor Shaw had an unwelcome visitor to his home Wednesday night — a car that drove into his guest bedroom.

In what is yet another reminder for residents of the First City to drive safely during icy conditions, a vehicle was traveling down Paulf Road at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when it lost control and took a sharp right turn, straight into the School Board president’s house.

“They were coming down to visit our neighbors, and just on the way down they went to use their brakes, and with (the roads) being basically solid ice, their brakes locked up,” Shaw explained. “… The interesting thing is they actually had to make an almost 90-degree turn and the house is another good 50 feet down the driveway.”

According to Shaw, the impact startled everyone in the house, as the crash also took out the power.

“There was just this loud crashing sound, and it was night outside, and it knocked the power out so everything was instantly dark,” Shaw said. “So originally they had no idea what happened.”

As Shaw and his family realized what exactly had occurred, they began to see just how incredibly lucky it was that no one was hurt. Shaw said that his parents and siblings were staying with them at the time of the collision, and fortunately were not in the bedroom when the car came through the wall.

“(It’s) kinda one of those incredible stories,” Shaw said. “My mom was in there with my youngest brother, who’s 5, watching Netflix, and the timer went off on the oven so her and him went into the kitchen and just as she was opening the oven doors is when (the vehicle) crashed into the bedroom that she was just in.”

According to Shaw, the driver of the vehicle also wasn't injured.

Shaw said that the damage to the house is extensive. The entire wall appears to be pushed back some three feet, with all of the furniture thrown back against the wall and covered in glass.

“Of course that was the wall that the breaker box was on; it’s just kind of a series of things,” Shaw said. “There’s a crack in one corner of the ceiling all the way over to the corner on the opposite side … they’re kind of worried at this point that the ceiling might collapse.”

He said that because of the holiday season, an insurance assessor probably wouldn’t be able to make it out until some time next week. In the meantime, Shaw said he is focused on securing the house and making sure it is safe.

“What we’re trying to do is just isolate the power and everything and trying to keep the rest of the house from freezing,” Shaw said. “Obviously that room is toast and is just open to the environment.”

Shaw noted, “It’s starting to freeze in the rest of the house,” and said that following the collision he spent time trying to make sure there were no fire hazards while also working to prevent the icy temperatures from reaching the rest of the home.

The temperature in Ketchikan is supposed to drop into the teens overnight and into Friday morning, continuing the recent trend of freezing weather in the region.

As those temperatures drop, Shaw said he is trying to find a place to stay, at least until they can fully secure the bedroom and house.

“We’re talking to friends and getting things worked out to figure out where we can stay until we can get it fixed,” Shaw said.