Car crashes through wall of boy’s bedroom
Gainesville resident Shaneesa Scott says her perspective on life got a sharp refocus last Tuesday morning when a driver ran off Highway 5 south near the state line and crashed through a telephone pole and into the concrete foundation and bedroom wall of the building where she rents an apartment, finally coming to rest on top of her 3-year-old son J.P.’s bed.
The youngster was just a few feet away from the car as it smashed through his bedroom wall.
“If we had gotten home just a few seconds earlier, this would be a much different situation. It makes me sick to even think about,” Shaneesa told the Times in a phone interview after the accident. “J.P. had just taken his shoes off and was about to head into his room to lie on his bed when the car came crashing through. If he would have been in that bed, he would have been underneath that car when it came through.”
‘Call 911. There’s been an accident’
Shaneesa said she had just returned to her apartment after visiting her parents, Sherri and David Scott, at their home on Locust Road with J.P. and his 3-week-old brother Briton (see Briton’s birth announcement, page 8) when their world was turned upside down. Shaneesa’s boyfriend and Briton’s father, Brent Hopper, who also lives at the apartment, had just returned from work.
“I walked in the house with the boys and sat Briton down in the living room. J.P. said he was heading into his room. We had just bought him a TV the night before, and he was excited to get to lie in his bed and watch a movie. I told the boys I was going to run out to the car to grab the laundry basket,” Shaneesa said. “But as soon as I got out the door, I heard this huge crash, and J.P. came running. He was screaming and crying, and I couldn’t figure out what had happened.”
Shaneesa said she ran around the back of the apartment and was shocked to see a car buried halfway into her son’s room. When she rushed inside and yanked open J.P.’s bedroom door, the room was filled with smoke.
“I grabbed the boys and got them out of the apartment immediately,” Shanessa said. A few customers at Outpost Liquor, located adjacent to the apartment, also came running to help after hearing the loud crash.
“They told me, ‘Call 911. There’s been an accident,’” Shaneesa said. She didn’t have her phone with her, but the woman who was working at the liquor store dialed the sheriff’s department while Brent and some of the Outpost customers made their way to the car to check on the driver.
“The man was still inside the vehicle. He was an elderly guy, and he didn’t have his hearing aid in, so it was hard to talk with him,” Shaneesa said. “He kept telling the guys he wanted out of the car. ... They were able to pry the door open just enough that he could slide out the side.”
Emergency responders with Timber Knob Volunteer Fire Department arrived shortly afterward to help the driver as well as Shaneesa, Brent and the boys.
Miraculously, no major injuries
After the chaos died down, Shaneesa picked up her cell phone and texted her mom.
“I texted, ‘Thank God I left when I did,’” Shaneesa said. “She asked why. So I called her and told her everything. She immediately teared up. We both just realized what could have happened…”
Sherri posted photos of the scene, including the car sitting on top of her grandson’s bed.
“Praising the Lord for his hand of protection on my daughter and grandsons!” she posted with the sobering photo. “…The car was literally on his bed! Thank you, Jesus, for keeping your hand on my babies.”
Although their apartment is uninhabitable now, and they are staying with her parents, Shaneesa says she’s thankful that it’s only her belongings that were lost.
“It just could have been so much worse. Things are replaceable, but my kids aren’t.”