Local News

Woman leaves bed before car crashes into bedroom

Posted April 20, 2009
Updated April 21, 2009

— Bessie Sellars, 87, decided to move from her bed to a recliner just before 10 p.m. Monday night, and the move saved her life.

She was sitting on her bed at 210 Union Church Road in Vass moments before a car driven by Jerrard Utley plowed through her wall, hitting the headboard.

Utley, 28, led Moore County sheriff's deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in Sellars’ home. Utley's family said he died at the scene after his car burst into flames and caught the house on fire.

Vass Police Chief Rick Bibey said Utley was driving a silver Crown Victoria when he sped away from a deputy, lost control of his car and crashed into the house.

Man dies after fleeing deputy, crashing into house Man dies after fleeing deputy, crashing into house

Utley's car hit the house so hard that it knocked the structure off its foundation, authorities said. The car went underneath the house and caught fire.

Authorities said they are not sure why Utley drove away from the traffic stop.

Sellars was inside with her daughter, Mae Barrett, when the car crashed into the home. Barrett said she heard a “loud pop” then a “boom.”

“After the boom, everything started shaking, the lights went out,” Barrett said. “Things were falling off the wall.”

Sellars would have normally been in her bed at that time of day, but on Tuesday she decided to sit in her recliner and watch TV. She was only a few feet away from the crash.


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  • iwasjustsaying Apr 22, 2009

    Dear Rev RB,

    Wow...you couldn't be more wrong here if you tried. Good luck to you. And God Bless you, and EVERYONE else.

  • leo-nc Apr 21, 2009

    Ok, this one has gone way off subject. I'm out

  • Adelinthe Apr 21, 2009

    Godschild27 - "RB: "He is only involved in the lives of those whom He has called."

    I will not argue that with you here. God only has compassion for those He has called that He knows will receive the fruit of His Spirit.

    Otherwise, nope.

    God bless.


  • thepeopleschamp Apr 21, 2009

    "Well, yes. But how many times do they end with the officer or innocent people dying?" Ice Nine

    I guess if a criminal wants to get away all they would have to do is keep a car near by to hop into and simply drive away. So how would you catch a fleeing criminal? And please don't fall back on the old "go pick them up later". If you don't know who they are or where they live, you can't swing by their and house and pick them up like your taking them to school or something.

  • leo-nc Apr 21, 2009

    Great, now we all know about God. So anyways, about the subject at hand.....

  • jrfergerson Apr 21, 2009

    Obviously some of you don't know of the merciful God of all. He does care for all even the unvelievers. It all comes down to choice - life offer us many choices - death only two -the choice one makes in life determines which one of the two one will spend eternity in. God revealed he is still in control through saving the ladies life - yes He is still in the miracle making business.

  • leo-nc Apr 21, 2009

    "Well, yes. But how many times do they end with the officer or innocent people dying?"---

    Well gee, ask the suspects who run that question. Do you have a better idea on how to catch them without having to chase them? If you do, we're all ears.

  • Jack Flash Apr 21, 2009

    People make mistakes. It's a shame this man didn't live to learn from his. This tragedy was not as large as it could have been, and it is a refreshing consolation that the homeowner was not hurt.

  • hollylama Apr 21, 2009

    Ya'll are a trip! Not all but some!
    Speaking of God and "believers" and in the same breath casting judgement upon others. Dozens of children dying throughout the world has nothing to do with God...but the sins which he warned of. Mainly GREED!! Its takes a disaster for people to act in good favor and thats the problem.

  • Jeremiah Apr 21, 2009

    "How quick people forget. A car chase in Wake County not long ago ended with Deputies catching a serial killer."

    Well, yes. But how many times do they end with the officer or innocent people dying?