Local News

Woman leaves bed before car crashes into bedroom

Posted April 20, 2009 10:39 p.m. EDT
Updated April 21, 2009 6:11 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.