Car crashes into woman’s apartment in east Austin

A car crashed into East Austin apartment and left a giant hole in a tenant's wall Sunday night. (KXAN Photo)
A car crashed into East Austin apartment and left a giant hole in a tenant's wall Sunday night. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A family is being forced to move after a car crashed into their apartment over the weekend.

It happened at the Vanitas Urban Flats apartment complex off Manor Road on Sunday night.

Niesha Jenkins says she was in bed going to sleep when she heard a loud boom.

“We see the back end of the car, the reverse lights in here,” she said. “By the time I got dressed and made it outside he was leaving, and some people that were outside chased him, but he got away.”

Jenkins spent Sunday and Monday night in the apartment, with only a tarp covering the hole.

“It’s freezing cold in my house, even with the heater on,” she said.

Jenkins says her 18-month-old baby got sick after staying in the cold apartment.

“This is a high disadvantage,” she said, “Not to mention my gas bill is going to be through the roof because it’s been on nonstop.”

Jenkins complained her apartment complex didn’t do enough to help her.

GVA Property Management responded with a statement, however, saying:

Late Sunday night we received an after-hour emergency call informing the onsite management a car ran into a building and left the scene. The onsite manager and two maintenance technicians arrived at the property in the middle of the night to ensure the resident and occupants were okay and assess the damage. The area was boarded up, as it was after midnight Monday by this time and we offered to place the resident in a hotel and they declined. That morning a construction contractor arrived at approximately 9:30am to assess the damage and provide an estimate that was approved by the owner by midday.

Due to the damage, we were unable to complete the necessary repairs in-house.  Meanwhile, we offered to relocate the resident to another apartment home. Our Service Manager personally walked two units with the resident allowing them to decide which one to select and we were told they both were good. Management stayed in constant communication while handling this situation. We were only provided a slight description of the vehicle that caused this damage and fled the scene.

This was an unfortunate situation, however we are confident that we responded immediately and have done everything possible to take care of our resident.

Contractors began working to patch the wall with new brick Tuesday afternoon. Jenkins was given the keys to a new apartment Tuesday evening.

Vanitas Urban Flats has had its fair share of issues in the past, with repeat citations filed against the property. Twenty-one citations are listed in the past two years, according to Austin Code Enforcement’s online records.

A GVA Property Management spokesperson says the company took over the complex several months back to turn things around. They say they hope their response to Jenkins’ crisis is a step in the right direction.

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