Ghastly surprise

Three escape serious injuries when car hits house
Mar. 02, 2013 @ 05:52 AM

The scene looked much worse than it was. Multiple fire trucks, blue lights from police cars, ambulances and the front half of a car inside a building was a frightening scene Thursday night.

Brenda Edwards says she is a blessed woman. The 67-year-old manager of Quality Plus on South Broadway Street in Forest City miraclously escaped serious injury after a car crashed into her apartment at the gas house.

Edwards, who has managed the gas house for nearly 11 years and lives in the facility's apartment, was in the living room at about 8:30 p.m. when a 1999 Nissan came crashing through.

About two feet from where Edwards was resting on the couch, the Nissan driven by Tiffany Dawn Sprinkle, 24, of Ferry Road in Mooresboro, also came to a rest. Half the car was inside the apartment. Sprinkle and her passenger, 3-year-old Maranda Lee, also escaped serious injury. 

"It scared me to death," Edwards said. "I got off the couch, went through the debris and called the police and then Quality Oil."

She said she couldn't get to the driver or the child because of the car and debris.

"And I was especially so afraid for my little dog, Yeta . . .I covered her up," Edwards said.

Edwards said the kitchen counters came flying right past her head. All the food, staples and counter items were all over the living room floor Friday as people were working to clear the mess.

"She came straight through the front door and didn't bother to knock," Edwards said, apparently attempting to see the lighter side of the incident.

But Thursday night was a different story.

Her son, Troy Cobb, who also lives on South Broadway Street and helps operate the gas house, was at the scene soon after the incident and was back on the scene Friday.

"I got a call, 'A car came through the gas house. Mom's fine.' I came straight down here," Cobb said.

Sprinkle told Forest City Police Officer Pt. J. W. Cook, she was traveling north on South Broadway and did not know what happened before her car crashed into the building. She said she felt the car jerk to the left and did not know if she hit the brake or accelerator. 

According to the Forest City police report, her car traveled traveled 17.6 feet to the left of the road and hit an embankment. After hitting the embankment the Nissan went airborne for 27 feet before hitting the ground again. The car traveled another 33 feet before hitting the front wall of the apartment where Edwards was sitting.

Edwards stayed with friends Thursday night. She isn't sure when she'll be able to be back into her apartment.

Damage to the apartment was estimated at $30,000 and damage to the Nissan was estimated at $5,000.

Sprinkle, Maranda and Edwards were treated at the scene by Rutherford County EMS and Rescue but were not transported to the hospital. Edwards sustained only bruises and a few scratches. 

The gas pumps were turned off after the incident because of electrical wiring. They were back on at about 10 a.m. Friday as electricians worked at the scene.

"I found this in there," electrician Eddie Glover said pointing to the Nissan grill ornament he hung on the apartment's front door.