Collapsed carport crushes cars and blocks apartment stairwell, trapping residents

Jan 2, 2023, 6:51 PM
(Unified Police Department)...
(Unified Police Department)
(Unified Police Department)

MURRAY, Utah — A carport collapse trapped some sleeping residents inside their Murray apartment building early Monday morning.

Residents at the Revolve Apartments were jolted awake at approximately 1 a.m. to find the carport had collapsed, leaving some of them trapped inside.

“I just heard this loud crash,” said resident Alexus Baslee. “Things were breaking.”

She thought it was her upstairs neighbors, then she heard her mom saying something had landed on her car.

“I come out and I see the whole carport is on the ground,” Baslee said.

The collapsed carport left her family with no way out of the building.

“If you were to walk down the stairs, you’d just be walking right onto the carport,” Baslee said.

Crews tore apart the carport to get a better look at the vehicles underneath, and to help residents have a pathway out of their units.

Baslee said officials on the scene told her the carport was bound to fall given the weight of the snow and that it was rusted.

“They basically said it was bound to fall down; it was rusted,” she said. “They went around and looked at the other ones to make sure they wouldn’t fall. ”

No one was injured, but some cars were damaged, including Baslee’s mother’s vehicle. She said, amazingly, her mom’s car had minor damage, despite being underneath the carport.

“We have like one little crack in the windshield,” Baslee said. “I think that crack could get bigger eventually, but I think eventually she might do something with insurance.”

That’s where Penton Insurance owner Bill Penton comes in.

“First thing you should do is call your insurance agent, let them know that something’s happened,” he said.

He said depending on the circumstances, people like Baslee’s mom may be able to get help through their auto insurance.

“Your vehicle, if you have liability only, no comprehensive, then you’re on your own and you would have to go back after the insurance for the apartment complex,” Penton said.

He said renters have to prove management didn’t do their due diligence.

“When you have a storm that has come in, like we’ve had the last couple of weeks, and you have a buildup of weight of the ice and snow, did the apartment do their due diligence to remove that? To prevent the collapse? If they failed to do their due diligence, then they may be held liable for the damages to your vehicle,” Penton said.

In the case a renter doesn’t have a comprehensive car insurance policy, which costs more, they’ll need to handle the matter themselves.

“You need to ask the management of the complex, who is your insurance through? Then get a phone number, a policy number, and call that company,” Penton said.

He said the client likely won’t have to go back and forth with their apartment’s management if they do have a comprehensive insurance policy.

“If you have comprehensive, they may advise you to make a claim on your policy and let your insurance company deal with the apartment complex,” Penton said.

Penton said, in Baslee’s mother’s case, she may be covered .

“If it’s repairable, go ahead and repair that, and if they have insurance for comprehensive, that’s glass coverage, the glass company will work directly with the insurance company,” he said.

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Collapsed carport crushes cars and blocks apartment stairwell, trapping residents