My husband landed his car on the roof of a building and survived without a scratch

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

My husband drove a classic car in his early twenties. One night, he drove that same classic car right off a parking lot and onto the roof of the building next door.

It was like something that happens only in movies.

Here's what happened.

My husband was out with his friends having a "boys' night out." Over the course of the evening, he parked his car in a parking lot that was at a higher elevation than the property next door. The entire street sat at a sharp incline, making for a potentially dangerous situation. Nothing was level.

From the parking lot where he sat behind the wheel of his classic Chevy, he could see the roofs of the buildings in the adjacent lot. It was a steep drop.

He threw the car into drive, when he thought it was in reverse, looked over his shoulder, stomped on the gas, drove it through the flimsy chain-link fence that separated the parking lot from the property below, and launched it onto the roof of the nearest building.

When he arrived home later that night and told me why he was getting home so late, I didn't believe him. To my jaded ears, it sounded like just another excuse. I would learn that I was wrong. The situation was exactly as he described it.

His car was on the roof of a building.

The following day, I accompanied him to the scene of the accident so he could arrange to have his car returned. Seeing his car sitting there on the roof raised more questions than it answered.

If I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes, I wouldn't have believed it. How he managed to land the car so neatly atop the building rather than crashing into the ground below remains a mystery.

It took several days and the costly expense of a crane rental, but he eventually got his car back. We never spoke of it again.

Neither he nor the car was any the worse for wear, not even a single scratch on either of them. That's something I still can't explain more than two decades later.

The worst part of the ordeal was having to take time out of work to help him retrieve his vehicle. I had to give him a ride to the scene of the bizarre accident several times. After all, his car was temporarily inaccessible.

Since this happened in the era before a cellphone in every pocket and a security camera on every building, I don't have any videos or pictures to share. I wish I did. Then maybe I could figure out how it actually happened.

I can't even ask my husband about it. We were divorced several years after this incident, and he died in a single-vehicle traffic accident a decade later. Yes, he was the driver of that vehicle. No one else was injured in the accident.

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