[GARDEN CITY, Kan.]
A Garden City apartment complex had to be evacuated on Sept. 20, after a 50-year-old Garden City man was reported to have lost control of his vehicle and sheared off the above-ground gas meters, causing natural gas to spew into the air.
Garden City Police Department, Garden City Fire Department, and Finney County EMS were dispatched at 4:05 p.m. to Abbot Gardens Apartments located at 2914 Fleming for what was initially reported as an injury accident.
Once there, they located Estefandieu Polycarpe, Garden City, Kan., sitting in a Buick Enclave on the grass between 2914 Fleming and the 2904 Fleming apartment complexes.
Officers observed extensive damage to buildings, fencing, and Polycarpe’s vehicle.
The above-ground gas meters to Building #4 were sheared off, and natural gas was spewing into the air, which prompted first responders to evacuate the building and apartments near the gas meters.
The investigation revealed that Polycarpe replaced the battery in the Enclave and turned the vehicle on when it was already in drive.
According to a GCPD press release, Polycarpe could not control the vehicle, which vaulted forward and struck the southwest corner of Building #4, shearing off the gas meters and damaging the landscaping.
After hitting Building #4, the vehicle was knocked westbound, struck the southeast corner of Building #2, and damaged the landscaping.
The vehicle then traveled southbound and struck a light pole. Polycarpe regained control of the vehicle before striking a 6-foot chain length fence and a parked Toyota Camry.
Gas and electric services were disconnected to Building #4 until repairs were made.
Red Cross personnel responded to help displaced occupants of Building #4.
Polycarpe was not injured in the crash, and no other injuries at the scene were reported.
Total damage to the property is estimated to be over $40,000.00.
Polycarpe was cited for No Proof of Insurance.