Driver gets choked up, crashes into house

Driver gets choked up, crashes into house
Brian Childress
Brian Childress

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A gaping hole in the brick retaining wall in the 2400 block of Gornto Road remained Monday night, evidence of a crash that occurred just after 7 p.m. Friday when 58 year-old Danny Dunkin lost control of his 2001 Ford truck while traveling South on Gornto Road.

It was the third incident of a car crashing into a building in Valdosta in the past two weeks.

"The driver lost control, hit the bricks, and actually traveled a little further and struck a portion of the home there. Fortunately, no one was hurt during the incident," said Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

But unlike the incident Sunday night, December 14th, in which 28 year-old Lee Caquelard is accused of driving drunk and smashing into two homes on Fawnwood Circle, Chief Childress said Dunkin simply got choked up.

"[The] driver indicated to us that as he was drivin' down the road, he was drinkin' somethin' and got choked. During the course of choking, [he] lost control of his vehicle," Chief Childress said.

But, police don't believe that alcohol is what Dunkin was drinking. "We did check," said Chief Childress. "There was no indication the driver was drunk. I wanna rule that out right now."

The third incident happened on December 9th at the McDonald's on South Patterson Street. 45 year-old Michael Pannell suffered a medical issue, causing him to slam into the McDonald's.

Both Caquelard and Pannell were facing charges for their respective crashes as of Monday. Dunkin, however, was not.

But, Childress reminded drivers that Georgia law allows drivers to be charged in a crash even if they were simply eating a sandwich or drinking a cup of coffee while driving.

"Georgia has a distraction law, not just texting. If you're doing anything that distracts you from driving, that could be a crime," Chief Childress explained.

In Friday night's crash though, Childress didn't believe the crash cconstituteda crime

WALB tried to speak to the homeowner Monday, but no one was home at the time. Childress said the family was home at the time of the crash though.

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