BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — A Twin Cities family is sharing their story of survival after an SUV crashed into their apartment.
It happened earlier this month in Brooklyn Park. A mother and daughter were laying on the couch when the SUV driver went through. The driver did not have a license.
Gray painted plywood and a few specks of shattered glass don’t even come close to telling the story of what happened inside the Kollie family’s apartment.
”I thought I was dreaming, it was a dream to me,” said Jackson Kollie.
From his bedroom, he said he heard the screams of his wife, Patricia, and 6-year-old daughter, Fatu, in the living room.
“As soon I came out, I saw the car in the kitchen, so I thought they’re no longer living,” he said.
Patricia and Fatu were on the couch when the SUV smashed through. They survived, but not without several deep cuts and bruises. Fatu needed more than 20 stitches in her head. Jackson hurt his back when he tried lifting debris to rescue them.
Police said an inexperienced driver was to blame.
“As a human being, to think you aren’t safe in your home is a little unsettling,” said Attorney James Heuer.
He stepped in to help the Kollie’s get compensation and found that their own car insurance would cover their expenses, even though the Kollie’s weren’t in a car when the incident happened.
“The car insurance for the crash insurance, the Minnesota no-fault coverage, is really gonna be a saver for the family because they’re gonna get compensated for their wages. They’re gonna get their medical bills paid, regardless of whether or not that person that caused this was insured,” Heuer said.
No-fault coverage is a Minnesota law that is a form of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) on a person’s car insurance policy, allowing a person injured in a car accident to get up to $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for non-medical expenses.
The scars feel fresh to Patricia as she looks down at her arm, but she holds no grudge against the driver.
“I’m not mad because everyone make a mistake in life,” she said. “I forgave (the driver).”
Jackson is just thankful his family is still intact, saying, “I just feel like that’s God’s miracle that kept them alive.”
The Kollie’s were moved to the apartment above them, but all of their furniture was destroyed. Patricia said they’ve been eating their dinners on the floor.
A GoFundMe has been created if you’d like to make a donation to help them restart their lives together.