Car slams into Tinley Park home, sparking large fire; police searching for driver

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Police are searching for the driver of a car that slammed into a Tinley Park home Tuesday morning, sparking a large fire that damaged two houses, fire officials said.

The incident occurred at about 1 a.m. as police said the driver was heading westbound in the 7600-block of 167th Street at a high rate of speed when it crashed into a fence, down an embankment and then slammed into the garage of a home.

"I heard a series of crashes, a loud boom, came out and saw my neighbor's house was engulfed in flames," said Kelly Rojas.

The car hit another car inside the garage, sparking a large fire. The flames quickly spread throughout the house and to a house next door.

"The car must have been going fast to go through the fence, the ditch, the yard, and then bury itself into the garage," said Tinley Park Fire Chief Forest Reeder.

Michael Thrasher said he's used to people speeding through the area.

"It literally sounded like someone was banging on something like throwing a trash can down the street or like a car hit something," Thrasher said.

No one was inside the home that the car crashed into at the time. The owner of the neighboring home that was damaged was able to escape and call 911.

That owner told ABC 7 the damaged house belonged to her mother, who died a few years ago.
"We were unable to locate the driver or any occupants of the vehicle at this time," said Tinley Park Fire Chief Forest Reeder. "It's unsure if they left the scene prior to or what happened to them and that is still a matter being investigated by the police department."
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