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LONGMONT -- Residents of two Collyer Street homes escaped injury Monday morning when the driver of an SUV lot control of her vehicle, veered across one house's front yard and crashed into the side of the second house.

The driver of the late-model Ford Explorer, a 21-year-old Longmont woman, was taken to Longmont United Hospital for treatment of what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

As for the people in and outside their homes in the 900 block of Collyer Street, "it was kind of a close call," said Longmont Police Officer Jared Goecke.

"It scared me half to death," said Beverly Barkman, 76, who was in her living room -- and whose husband, Ken Barkman, 80, was in the bedroom -- when the SUV tore into the north side of their residence at 914 Collyer St. at about 7:20 a.m. Monday.

"Holy cow!" Beverly Barkman said her husband shouted. "Somebody just hit the house!"

Ken Barkman said he'd been getting dressed in a corner of the bedroom and was only a few feet away from where the vehicle came to a stop with its grill poking a hole inside of that room and an adjacent storage room.

"If Ken had been on the other side of the bedroom, there's every chance I would have been widowed," Beverly Barkman said.

Also escaping injury were the couple's two dogs, a Chihuahua and a German shepherd, and two cats.

Ken Barkman points to a hole in the wall of his bedroom Monday where a car crashed into his house at 914 Collyer St. in Longmont. Barkman was in the
Ken Barkman points to a hole in the wall of his bedroom Monday where a car crashed into his house at 914 Collyer St. in Longmont. Barkman was in the opposite corner of the room when the crash occurred. For more photos and a video visit www.TimesCall.com. (Greg Lindstrom, Times-Call)

The southbound SUV had veered off Collyer, tearing across a driveway at 922 Collyer St., taking out shrubs and a lamppost, narrowly missing a parked van and hitting a fence before crashing into the Barkmans' house.

Paula Brunn said she was inside the 922 Collyer St. house and that her husband, Graham Carr, was just outside the residence , but that neither of them was injured when the SUV crossed their property in its path into their neighbors' home.

The identity of the SUV's driver and her condition were not yet available. Goecke said the initial investigation determined that the driver may have passed out or lost control because of a medical condition and that there was no indication that alcohol or drugs were involved.

The hole in the side of the Barkmans' house, where they've lived for 47 years, was covered by a blue plastic tarp. They said they intended to stay in their 60-year-old home unless they're advised otherwise by city building officials, who inspected the damage Monday morning.

Cleanup chores still faced the couple and Amanda Noterman, their 21-year-old granddaughter who lives with them but wasn't home at the time of the accident.

"The house can be repaired," Noterman said. "The main thing is that everybody's OK."

Said her grandmother: "We're still going to have Christmas dinner here, come what may."

John Fryar can be reached at 303-684-5211 or jfryar@times-call.com.