Drunk driver destroys a family’s backyard - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Drunk driver destroys a family’s backyard

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EAST RIDGE, TN (WRCB) -

A drunk driver tore through the backyard of an East Ridge home last week and the family who lives there is still cleaning up the mess.

Police said it happened on 3800 block of Bennett Road. The driver tried to run, but ended up in a ditch.

"I just saw headlights coming through, it was just a moment of shock and I didn't know what to do," Stefanie Reed explained.

Reed saw it all unfold from her porch.

The drunk driver traveling down Loredo Avenue, missed a turn and went flying into Richard Herman's backyard.

"I heard the crash and came running out here immediately when I heard her screaming,” Herman said.

He said it looked like a demolition derby in his backyard. The driver tried to smash through another fence but wasn't successful.

"When it couldn't get through there, it did two reverse donuts, stopped at the fence back there and then slammed on the gas and flew in the ditch,” Herman described.

Police arrested 48-year-old Dorothy Weller. She’s charged with driving under the influence. Officers on scene also found $35,000 in cash, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

“She told me not to give her a hard time because she already had a hard night, and I told her well you know me too, and thankfully the police were here by then,” Herman said.

If Weller didn't shift into reverse, the family said she would have crashed into the room where their four kids were sleeping.

This isn't the first accident at this intersection, residents say there have been at least three others in the same spot. It’s why they're turning to the city to prevent another accident from happening.

"Had there been a guard rail there, she wouldn't even have damaged our property. I do believe there needs to be more lighting and enforcement in this area in general,” Reed said.

The family's storage unit was flipped onto its side and crushed into pieces. Including irreplaceable memories from when their children were first born.

"It’s a constant reminder that, one of this shouldn't have happened. and two, we are lucky that this wasn't worse, we are lucky it was just the stuff and not one of us,” Reed explained.

The family is working with their insurance to figure what next and who will have to foot the bill. They plan to reach out to the city of East Ridge to find out how they can make their neighborhood safer.

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