Uninsured drunk driver lands his car in middle of uninsured home

Uninsured drunk driver lands his car in middle of uninsured home
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - From a distance, it's just another home right off of Juban Road in Livingston Parish. At a closer look though, there's a piece of plywood in place of a front door.

"It sounded like World War 4 bombs going off," said Paul Knox, who found a car in his home.

It was around 1 a.m. Wednesday and Knox was still up watching TV when he heard a crash.

"I got up and walked around and there's a car in my entrance way with a drunk saying, 'I got no insurance, no driver's license and I was just having fun,'" said Knox.

When the family removed the car from their house, parts of their home were found under the hood and on top of the car. Dessie Norton, Knox's daughter, even found an empty bottle of Kentucky whiskey in the car.

Zachariah Rutledge, 23, was arrested for 1st offense DWI, possession of Schedule I drugs, driving under suspension and reckless operation.

His arrest report said deputies "could smell a strong unmistakable odor of alcohol" on Rutledge and that he told deputies "he had been drinking throughout the night." Officials also "located Psilocybin Mushrooms in his front left pocket."

Deputies added he was driving with a suspended license and did not have any insurance.

Norton said deputies told her that Rutledge was going between 85 and 100 mph, which caused him to jump over Juban Road, bending part of the fence and a pole and landing hard in their yard. There are tread marks in the yard from where the car dug out before slamming into the house.

"The front bumper was through the wall there and the back bumper was barely out the front door," said Knox.

Knox was literally just one wall away.

"If he would have been to the left a bit, about a car's length, where I was sitting, I could be in the graveyard," said Knox.

Knox built the home 32 years ago.

"It took me right at five years to build it and a matter of 30 seconds for him to drive through," said Knox.

Unfortunately, the 67-year-old said he's retired and did not have homeowner's insurance. It's why, he's hoping to salvage whatever he can on his own and put up plywood as doors to keep the AC flowing, hoping to reuse materials to rebuild what was torn out and even saving any molding.

"I'm hoping that if I can find more like it to only buy a little of it to put it all back together without having to buy all of this. Molding don't come too killing cheaply," said Knox.

Now, he has to rebuild by paying out of pocket, if he can, one rock at a time.

Anyone who would like to help out can make a donation on the family's GoFundMe page.

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