Man dies after intentionally driving car filled with propane tanks into ex's apartment


A Florida man was killed Tuesday afternoon after he rammed his car filled with propane tanks into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment.

Police said Carl Philbert, 31, went to his ex’s home in Fort Pierce Tuesday morning and argued with his ex. They said he then left the area, put four propane tanks in the car, and then drove his car through his ex’s front window.

Five people were inside the apartment, including a 3-year-old boy.

“I just jumped up and I ran in the back room and I grabbed my son and ran out of the house,” said the daughter of Philbert’s ex. She has asked us to not reveal her name.

She said her mother saw Philbert driving his car full speed at the window.

“She seen him coming full force at the living room,” said the woman. “She was trying to warn us because we were sitting on the couch but it was too late.”

Shortly after the impact, Philbert’s car burst into flames.

“The impact was so hard, it shook my television while I was watching it,” said Chris Garcia. He and his wife and three children live in the next door apartment. “The TV shook. My couch shook.”

In all, 13 adults and 5 children live in the apartment building. All were able to get out safely though one elderly woman was trapped on the second floor.

Cell phone video shows one of the propane tanks in the car exploding just minutes after.

“We could have had all 18 people in this building killed,” said Ed Cunningham with the Fort Pierce police. “With a fire that spread that quickly, with all the propane gas involved, it could have been a major disaster.”

Police are not releasing the name of his ex because they do not identify victims of domestic violence. They did say Philbert had a history of domestic issues with the woman.

The building has been declared structurally unsound.

The Red Cross is helping the residents find a place to stay.



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