Michelle and Kevin McCarthy returned to their home in Santa Rosa, California to find it destroyed after a 90 ft., 50-ton crane toppled over, crashing into their house and cutting it virtually in half.
This ordinary home (built as a semi-detached house in about 1860 but now attached by a link to a second house to the north) suddenly became the center of world attention, and the headless shark still excites interest today.
Bill Heine commissioned the shark and still owns the house. An American who studied law at Balliol College, he was running two Oxford cinemas at the time, but since 1988 he has been better known as a Radio Oxford presenter.
The boat and trailer were being towed by a truck belonging to U Pull and Save in Fort Myers. It is unclear what caused it to come unhitched, but a witness said that, after breaking fee, it crossed a yard before hitting the bungalow.
Former health and safety officer Andrea, 55, said that at the time of the 5.45 pm accident she would normally have been in the living room. But multiple sclerosis sufferer Andrea, who walks with a stick, added, “I'd been out with my daughter and granddaughter so I was hungry. I was in the kitchen with my partner when I heard a big bang. At first I thought it was the chimney pot falling in. I'd normally have been in the lounge. I would have been dead. I often sit on the piano stool near where the car stopped. I would have been in the path of the car."
A group of children on bicycles were very close, and Oliver Peake, aged 12, took the photo shortly before police closed off the street to traffic.
No one was hurt except the woman, who was airlifted to a hospital with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.