Burton woman's home on sharp curve smashed by Toyota Scion

mmcnab@islandpacket.comOctober 9, 2013 

JoAnne Murdaugh talks about the damage caused to her house and property after it was hit by a car on Tuesday night. This is the second time in the past year that a car has crashed on her property.

DELAYNA EARLEY

The dozens of cars that have crashed on JoAnne Murdaugh's Colonial Avenue property over the years have wiped out fences, bushes, and even a pool, but had never hit her home.

That changed Tuesday night.

Murdaugh's home, which sits behind a sharp curve along Colonial Avenue in Burton, was struck by a 23-year-old driver accused of being intoxicated about 8:30 p.m., S.C. Highway Patrol Senior Trooper Bridget Wyant said.

The driver's 2005 Toyota Scion primarily hit one of the cinderblock pillars that Murdaugh's mobile home sits on, her granddaughter Victoria Anderson said.

"The car completely crushed the pillar, tore the siding off in the area, broke the plywood there, and bent the home's frame," she said. "It felt like a tornado had hit the house."

Anderson said authorities on the scene told them the driver had been going almost 100 mph before the crash. Wyant said details of the crash were unavailable, but that an investigation was ongoing.

Anderson said four adults and a small child were home getting ready for bed when the car crashed into the home. No one was hurt in the crash, but they were shaken up by it, Anderson said.

The car hit a ditch in front of Murdaugh's fence almost exactly in the same spot as a driver did four months ago, Anderson said. In that crash, the driver destroyed Murdaugh's fence and above-ground pool before driving off.

New curve signs up the road from Murdaugh's home were installed by the Department of Transportation about a month ago in response to the last crash, Anderson said. Murdaugh said in June she had hoped blinking lights could be added to the signs, or speed bumps installed on the road to make it safer.

Anderson said Murdaugh had received an estimate on the cost to repair her damaged fence but hadn't yet gotten one for her home Wednesday. Moving the mobile home farther away from the road isn't an option, Anderson said.

"She lives on a fixed income," Anderson said. "She doesn't have the money to do that."

Moving off the property isn't an option either, Anderson said, as Murdaugh has lived in the home for 39 years.


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