Family uses damaged home as message to drunk drivers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Family uses damaged home as message to drunk drivers

By Christie Post - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A family is still displaced after an alleged drunk driver hit their house early Saturday morning. Now, they're living at a hotel and using their damaged house as a message for drivers to see.

The message written on the plywood covering the large hole in the house says "Don't Drink and Drive," and "this room belongs to a 6 year old girl," and "c what being drunk can do!"

The homeowners painted the message after they say two cars were racing down 40th Street in their neighborhood. One was a pickup truck that went airborne from the curb. The only thing that stopped the driver was the house. It crashed into a 6-year-old girl's room.

Luckily, the family was out of town at the time of the crash. "Her bed is actually on that wall that got hit," said Brandi Bartlett, homeowner. "All I can say about that is the good Lord is looking out for us and by the grace of God we were out of town."

Brandi is thankful they were headed to San Angelo at the time of the accident. "The night before this happened she was in that bed asleep."

Police arrested 21-year-old Landon Kirk Akins for Driving While Intoxicated. Now, Bartlett is sending a message for all drivers to see. "I put a message up, and that was what we could come up with. Maybe that will wake up someone who does have a heart or sense that before they get behind the wheel, not to drink and drive. She could have been in that bed."

Shards of glass sticking out of the wall, wood puncturing the bed and stained carpet from Akins' car is all that remains. "Here's the bathroom and here's the hot water heater, and it just ripped all the pipes and all the gas out."

Bartlett says this isn't the first time something like this has happened. "After this happened, and talking to all the neighbors, it's happened to everyone around us one time or another."

Just feet away from the street, Bartlett looks back at her house, something she says she can no longer call home. "As soon as we get this fixed it's going to be up for sale. I just can't put them back in that bed and be alright with it unless we have a concrete wall all the way across this property."

Bartlett says she forgives Akins and wants to use this example to teach others not to get behind the wheel if they've been drinking.

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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