Damage from Burton car-vs-house crash may force woman from home temporarily

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comOctober 10, 2013 

A Burton woman might be temporarily forced from her home after an errant car slammed into it, causing damage that turned out to be worse than originally thought, her granddaughter said Thursday.

Repairs to JoAnne Murdaugh's Colonial Avenue mobile home are expected to cost at least $40,000, possibly more, Murdaugh's granddaughter, Victoria Anderson, said Thursday.

The damage was caused by a 23-year-old driver who slammed into Murdaugh's mobile home at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night after failing to slow down at a sharp curve along Colonial Avenue, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol. Damage was first thought to be limited to the structure beneath the home.

The 2005 Toyota Scion crushed a cinderblock pillar, bent the home's frame, and destroyed siding and plywood, Anderson said.

No one was hurt in the crash.

Further inspection revealed the crash severed all plumbing to Murdaugh's home and buckled sections of the roof, Anderson said. With no running water and the possibility of roof leaks, Murdaugh likely will have to live with relatives on adjacent lots because she doesn't have money for a hotel, she said.

Anderson said her grandmother probably would have stayed in the house, but surgery Murdaugh had on her leg the day of the crash would prevent her from walking across their yards to use the bathroom.

Repairs can't start immediately because Murdaugh is waiting for an insurance adjuster to view the damage. Anderson said she and her aunt were told it could take another two to three days for the adjuster to make an assessment.

Although Murdaugh has insurance, the family was also looking into whether the driver's insurance would cover some of the damage, Anderson said.

No new information was available Thursday about the crash, S.C. Highway Patrol Senior Trooper Bridget Wyant said. The driver, who was charged with driving under the influence, was released from the Beaufort County Detention Center on Wednesday after posting a $2,267 bond, according to the jail log.

The crash was the second this year involving a car wrecking on her property. Murdaugh has said a car has crashed onto her property after losing control at the curve almost every year of her 39 years in the home. Before Tuesday, none of the cars had hit her home.


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