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Carlos Bernarte's home was being struck by cars before he even lived in it, according to neighbors

By Alex Heigl
Updated August 16, 2016 05:30 PM
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They say the odds of being struck by lightning in your life are 1 in 12,000. The odds of you being killed by a shark are reportedly 1 in 3,748,067.

Statisticians, however, have yet to come up with an explanation for Carlo Bernarte. The Raleigh, North Carolina, man, whose home has been struck by cars six times – the most recent being Saturday morning – appears to be some kind of statistical anomaly.

The car that hit his home Saturday morning plowed through the cross of flowers Bernarte set up to mark the death of the last person who hit his home, a drunk driver who struck Bernarte’s house in October 2015 and later died in the hospital. That was the fifth person to collide with his home.

Bernarte moved into the home in 2004. He told WTVD that he knew the house had been struck once already, but assumed it wouldn’t happen again. It was, in 2007 and 2008. Then again in 2013, 2015 and now 2016.

One of Bernarte’s neighbors, Audley Murphy, actually estimates the figure is higher, telling WNCN in 2015 that the home or the neighborhood sign that occupies its front yard has been struck “at least 10 times” since it was built. “How can this happen to the same house over and over again?” she asked.

Bernarte lost his homeowner’s insurance “from like two accidents” ago due to the frequency of collisions, and the city engineers have refused to extend a guardrail that borders his property on the grounds that it would then block the line of sight for drivers exiting his neighborhood.

“They said the only way they could extend the guardrail is if they close access to the neighborhood,” said Bernarte.

The city has installed solar lights on the chevron signs that occupy the curve, but Bernarte has said they don’t work and just plans on moving his family as soon as he can.

“While NCDOT and the City cannot ensure traffic law compliance, we do realize there is a pattern of vehicles leaving the roadway. However, every case involves a high rate of speed or an intoxicated driver. Neither NCDOT or the City are able to fix the outcome of poor compliance using typical safety engineering,” the city wrote to him in a rejection letter responding to his request for a guardrail in 2015.

“Who is liable for this? Is it the city? NCDOT? The builder? The engineer who approved building a house here?” said Bernarte. “Probably no action would be taken until the next accident happens.”