A man, who a witness says fell asleep in his car sitting at a Forest Hill intersection early Saturday morning, crashed into the garage of a house in Spenceola Parkway minutes later, rupturing a gas line and causing nearby homes to be evacuated.
The crash forced several nearby residents out of their homes for up to 90 minutes.
Around 1:30 a.m., Harford County Sheriff's deputies were notified of an accident in the 300 block of Spenceola Parkway, where a car had run into a house and ruptured a gas line. The driver, Huntington Digges Bosley, 22, of the 17000 block of Troyer Road in Monkton, was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, Eddie Hopkins, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said.
Deputies smelled alcohol on Bosley and found suspected drugs on him when he was searched, Hopkins said.
A witness told police he saw a GMC Envoy stopped at a green light at the intersection of Route 24 (Rock Spring Road) and Red Pump Road, near McDonald's, Hopkins said.
The witness knocked on the window of the car, waking up the driver, later identified as Bosley, he told police, then told Bosley he needed to move on and go home.
As Bosley drove off, the witness followed him and allegedly saw him swerving on the road. He followed Bosley onto Spenceola Parkway, where Bosley hit a curb and swerved to avoid hitting a parked car, Hopkins said. In doing that, he ran off the road across a lawn and into the garage of a two-story, single-family home.
"The car was embedded in the wall of the garage," Hopkins said.
No one was home at the time of the crash and the homeowners can return to live in it.
The crash ruptured a gas line into the home, which was the main concern of firefighters, Hopkins, who is the chief of Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, said.
The gas line broke beneath the shut-off valve, which Hopkins said left a two-inch gas main "spewing gas into the house itself and into the area around it."
"With natural gas, you never know what the explosive limits are going to be," Hopkins said.
A spark from the crash could have caused an explosion, he said. Or a spark elsewhere could have ignited the gas that escaped, depending on its density and how far it traveled.
"You don't know where the flash point is going to be," he said.
The gas at the source could be too rich to ignite or explode, but half a mile away it could be to lean, Hopkins said. Somewhere in the middle is a perfect situation for an explosion.
Because of that threat, eight homes in the area – on Spenceola Parkway and on Pond View Drive – were evacuated. Residents were displaced from their homes for 45 to 90 minutes.
Bosley was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, Hopkins said. Drug charges are pending analysis, Hopkins said.
As of Tuesday evening, Maryland electronic court records did not have any entry of charges in connection with Saturday's accident.