Austin man ‘trapped’ in apartment after car crashes into building


AUSTIN (KXAN) — In southeast Austin, one elderly man says he’s “trapped” inside his apartment home after a car crashed into his building.

It’s a problem out of his, and his apartment complex’s, control.

At 91-years-old, Irving “Bud” Duffy, says, “I go out as much as I can.” He doesn’t let his wheelchair slow him down.

“I go down, I get the mail and doctors appointments and… errands,” he said.

Duffy is being modest. Just last year for his 90th birthday, the World War II veteran went skydiving for the third time.

And while thousands of feet couldn’t stop Duffy, a 1-foot drop-off is stopping him now.

The only way to leave this building is through the back with no sidewalk or ramp. 

After a car crashed into the front of his apartment building Monday, the sidewalk he normally uses is blocked off and covered in debris.

“So I’m basically stuck here,” Duffy said. He’s getting groceries delivered for now, but he worries about emergencies. “If there was a fire here or something you know I wouldn’t be able to get out.”

His property managers say there’s not much they can do.

“It’s something about insurance you know,” Duffy said.

The managers can’t clear the debris and let anyone through for fear that a building arch isn’t stable enough to walk under.

And they say they have to move at the insurance company’s pace. It could be next week before this is all fixed, leaving Duffy stuck inside.

Duffy’s apartment managers say a crew is coming out Friday to start cleaning up. But it could take them a while to get everything stable enough to re-open the sidewalk.

The complex did offer to reimburse Duffy for a hotel room in the meantime, but he can’t afford to pay for that upfront.

They’ve also offered to temporarily put him in a different unit, but he worries he can’t get all of his handicap equipment moved over to another apartment.

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