Families displaced after car crashes into apartment building

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 7:35 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Families have been out of their homes for nearly a week after a car crashed into an apartment building in Gallatin.

The people who live in the building said they are happy no one was hurt when a car crashed into the building last Saturday, but they are getting frustrated that all of their belongings are inside of the building and it’s not safe to enter.

Jayla Jenkins and her five children were at home when the car hit the building. The crash sent bricks flying and damaged the support structure. That’s why city officials condemned this part of the apartment complex until repairs can be made.

Right now, there is no timeline on how long that will be. Jayla said they’ve been forced to live in another apartment with only one basket of clothes and a couple other bags.

“People make these choices and decisions, and it can be catastrophic for somebody else,” Jayla said. “For us, me a single mom of five children, it has been so hard. The anxiety has been high, my son is having nightmares, just the displacement. We’re not home and our regular routine has been interrupted.”

Jayla said her kids have gotten off to a bad start to the school year because of this and her daughter does not have any of the things they have gotten for her to move into her college dorm to start freshman year.

They had to buy air mattresses just to sleep on and have been eating fast food for almost every meal. Jayla has organized this GoFundMe to help her family.

“It’s a hard time,” Jayla’s mother, Sandra Jenkins, said. “They are going through a very difficult time because they are struggling. They don’t have their clothing. All the things that they need are in that apartment, and they really do need them.”

Gallatin city records show the driver hit the apartment building twice before driving away, down a hill and crashing again. Gallatin Police have not told WSMV if the driver is facing any charges.

Clark Jenkins lives in the apartment below Jayla and said he was watching TV in his living room when the car crashed into his bedroom. The damage was so bad that no one was allowed back inside after the fire department evacuated the building. Clark has been forced to live at a motel for almost a week since the incident.

“I didn’t have renter’s insurance, so I am having to pay for a hotel room and I am out of resources for somewhere to stay until they repair the apartment,” Clark said. “I have a little money and it is just going to be out of pocket for me to stay in the motel room.”

The property manager said they are waiting on engineers to complete inspections before the caution tape surrounding the apartment building can come down and people can get in to collect their things.

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