At about 1 a.m. Friday morning, Elmer Emmons heard a crashing sound — as if a tree limb had fallen onto his roof.
He assumed one of his grandkids knocked something over in another room and he didn’t give it another thought.
But Saturday morning he found that a tire, which he believes came from a semi-truck on nearby Interstate 84, had crashed through the roof of his house and come to rest in the attic above his bedroom.
From the front of the turquoise blue home, nothing looks out of ordinary. The house is located about 100 feet from the westbound lane of I-84 on the South Hill in Pendleton. It isn’t visible from the freeway and the tire would have had to careen over a hill, over two wire fences in his backyard and through a tree to land in the attic.
Emmons first noticed the depression in the roof on Saturday morning when his grandchild called him out back to point it out. Thinking termites had caused the damage, Emmons went to investigate in the attic. He found the tire had smashed through the roof and plywood, cracked a two-by-four support beam, and nestled itself in the insulation.
“I look out here on the freeway and I don’t understand how it could have gotten here,” said Emmons. There is little evidence of destruction in the path from the freeway to the house. The outermost fence was damaged diagonally from where the tire landed.
What’s more, Emmons isn’t the owner of the house. He’s been renting the property for about a month with his wife, two daughters, and two grandchildren. He moved in two weeks after Memorial Day, when his own home caught fire and is now being repaired.
“People say, ‘You’re having some bad luck,’” said Emmons. “But I’m having some good luck. We’ve had two catastrophes and no one is hurt.”
A police log from around the same time states that a blue Dodge Caravan struck a semi-truck tire while traveling eastbound on I-84 around mile marker 210. The vehicle was damaged significantly and had to be towed.
Emmons filed a report with Oregon State Police about the damage, but no one at the office was available Monday to comment on the case.