Local News

Car remains parked in Coats home after July wreck

Posted August 14, 2013 6:17 p.m. EDT
Updated August 14, 2013 6:53 p.m. EDT

— The dining room of Stephanie Beasley's Harnett County home has been a hood ornament for a Pontiac Grand Prix for more than a month.

The car slammed into her home on East Main Street on July 4 when two men overshot a hairpin curve in front of the house.

"The whole house shook. I could feel it shake as soon as we heard the bang," Beasley said Wednesday, recalling that she then heard an engine rev and saw taillights in her side yard. "I happened to turn around at the front door and noticed the whole house was coming apart."

Police said Kenneth Sharrard Watson, 24, of Buies Creek, was driving at about 50 mph when he ran off the road. He was charged with driving while impaired, reckless driving and injury to real and personal property.

Beasley, her fiancé and his 3-year-old son were uninjured, but the house was knocked off its foundation.

"Even though it infuriates me that this happened, I still feel like someone had to be watching over us," she said.

The house, which is owned by Beasley's grandmother, has been condemned. Yet, the Grand Prix remains lodged in it.

"I don't know," Beasley said when asked why the car hasn't been removed. "Insurance agencies, they want you to do this; they want you to do that."

Insurance adjusters and contractors have surveyed the damage but haven't decided whether to demolish the house or allow for repairs. Move the car, and there goes the back side of the house.

The curve on East Main Street is known around Coats as "dead man's curve," and a few years ago – before Beasley moved in – a car splintered a privacy fence and came within 2 feet of the home's front porch.

Town Manager Kenneth Cole said he has spoken to state Department of Transportation engineers about erecting guardrails on the curve.

"We're going to do everything we can to try to get this rectified," Cole said.

Beasley said any road improvements come too late for her.

"I don't plan on living here again. It's scary," she said.