The boarded-up wall in her bedroom is a constant reminder of how lucky a Greenwood woman is to be alive.

Early Thanksgiving morning, Rita Collins woke up to an awful sound when a car struck the brick wall outside her patio, spun and caused the wall of her bedroom to collapse.

Collins had been sleeping on the bed against the wall, and was quickly covered in debris and car parts. Only the space where her head was laying was clear, she said.

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“It’s a true miracle. God took over,” Collins said.

The crash happened just before 4 a.m. when police said a car went off the road and struck the patio wall and air conditioning unit outside Collins’ home in the Southern Green neighborhood off Stop 18 Road and County Road 75E in Greenwood. Police later arrested the driver, Cory M. Wilson, 27, Beech Grove, on charges of failure to stop after an accident, operating under the influence, public intoxication and resisting law enforcement.

Collins was checked out by emergency workers because of the amount of debris that had fallen on her, according to the Greenwood Police Department report.

On Monday, she said she had suffered some bruises, but was doing well. Her home, on the other hand, was seriously damaged.

A contractor was able to quickly come and board up the damage, but Collins is not allowed to go into her bedroom or her master bathroom, where the worst of the damage is located, she said.

Her patio also was damaged, and she has found multiple cracks in her drywall, she said. But she has been allowed to stay in her home, and the rest of the home is not damaged, she said.

She remembers the crash as an awful sound, and terrifying, she said.

“It’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me in my lifetime, and I hope ever,” she said.

After police checked on Collins, they began searching for the driver of the vehicle, which was empty when officers arrived. A neighbor told police he had seen a man running from the area, and officers found that man met the description of Wilson, who owned the vehicle, the report said.

A police dog came to help with the search, and police tried to find Wilson’s cellphone, but were unable. Another officer then spotted Wilson running along Wheatgrass Drive, in a neighborhood just south of where the crash happened, and he was arrested, the report said.

Wilson told police he had been driving the vehicle, crashed and then left. A test showed his blood-alcohol content was 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit to be considered too intoxicated to drive, the report.

Wilson, 157 S. Third Ave., was taken to the Johnson County jail, where he was released on bond.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.