THP investigating after car crashes into Springfield home, 7-year-old injured

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 10:01 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating after a vehicle drove into a home in Springfield on Tuesday night.

According to our partners at Smokey Barn News, the crash happened on Highway 49 East around 10 p.m. Residents reported there were four people inside the home at the time of the crash and the car landed in the home’s living room.

The Jernigan family has owned the house since 1944. Owner Ryan Jernigan said there have been several close calls with cars driving off the road and into their yard, but no car had ever hit their house or done this much damage.

The car bounced off of a tree, skidded across the grass and then hit the front corner of the house, Ryan said. It then flipped back on its tires and crashed through the front window and into their playroom.

Ryan’s 7-year-old daughter, Haley, was standing in the front hall when she saw the headlights approaching. She was injured by glass during the crash and later released from a local hospital. Photos show the crash caused extensive damage to the home.

“I was going to run, but it was too quick,” Haley said. “I just turned around and put my hands over my head.”

Haley said it could have easily been much worse, with a large part of the house falling right next to her. After Ryan checked on Haley, he ran into a cloud of dust because because he thought a bomb had gone off.

“I heard a loud glass shattering, a loud boom followed by kids screaming,” Ryan said. “I come running out of the bedroom, dust flying in the air, didn’t really know what it was. Come around to the corner of the staircase here and looked in here and there was a car sitting in it.”

Cornez L. Maxwell, 34, was driving the 2015 Honda Accord that hit the home, according to THP. Maxwell was charged with DUI and reckless endangerment.

Ryan tried to talk to Maxwell, but he kept trying to spin his tires to get out of the crash. Ryan then called 911 and his father, who lives down the road, to come help.

The side of a chest that once sat next to the front door now sits splintered after being thrown against the back wall of the kids’ playroom with enough force to break the drywall. Other family items, like a doll house that was built by their great-grandfather, were also damaged.

Ryan said they had just got home from a softball tryout when it happened. He was planning on taking Haley and their eight-year-old daughter, Maddi, to the waterpark on Wednesday and had started packing up for that trip when the car crashed into the house.

Instead of going on their fun trip, Wednesday was spent helping Haley recover from her minor injuries and beginning the cleanup process. Ryan said the driver did not have insurance, so they are working with their homeowner’s insurance to file a claim.

Ryan is committed to rebuilding this house because it’s been in the family for so long, but he is not yet sure if it is a total loss due to structural damage. Beyond the wall that was knocked out by the car, other parts of the house were moved up to a foot by the impact.

Police have arrested the man behind the wheel of the car for driving under the influence. He’s also been charged with reckless endangerment and will be forced to cover the cost of the damages.

Smokey Barn News reported the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Robertson County EMS, the Orlinda Fire Department, the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Robertson County Emergency Management Agency all responded to the scene.

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