Car Crashes Through Bulloch Co. Home - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/08/07

Car Crashes Through Bulloch Co. Home

A Bulloch County woman has lost her home and her brother, who lived there, nearly lost his life after a man drove his car through a stop sign and into the house. Now the homeowner is calling for justice.

"This is where the truck came through," explained Jamie Crunkelton, gesturing to the wide gaping expanse and shredded wallboard, insulation and siding that was one end of the home she rents to her brother. "You can see there was a bed in the bedroom that's now in the backyard. It just went straight through and drove through the backyard. It looks like a tornado came through, not a vehicle."

Wednesday at 4am, that's what happened. Georgia State Patrol troopers say 28 year old Russell Christopher Daughtry ran the stop sign at Josh Deal Road from Burkhalter Road and plowed right through the house. The impact pushed the home several feet off its foundation. Crunkelton said its a total loss.

"(He) came through the ditch, through the house, without ever hitting his brakes and went and ended up in the woods back there," said Crunkelton.

The family said he claimed he fell asleep, but troopers said Daughtry registered .114 on a breathalyzer test. That's legally drunk.

"We waited two hours before a breathalyzer was even done," said Crunkelton, "and he still registered DUI."

Georgia State Patrol Trooper Sgt. Christopher Wright said it took them longer to get there because they had to call in a trooper to respond to the accident. The Georgia State Patrol does not have a trooper stationed overnight in the area. The agency, by an agreement with the Bulloch County Sheriff's Department, also handles all car accidents and breathalyzer tests in Bulloch County.

What upset Crunkelton most of all was what would have happened if someone was sleeping in the back bedroom at the time the car crashed into the house.

"They would have certainly been killed," she said. "Just a few months ago, I lived here and my two year old was sleeping in that room. He's just lucky he didn't kill anybody."

Crunkelton's brother was at the other end of the home at the time of the accident. He was not hurt. He's currently looking for a new place to stay.

The Georgia State Patrol charged Daughtry with DUI and failing to stop at a stop sign. He was released on bond.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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