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Vehicle crashes through house

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A man was getting ready for work and his wife had just gotten out of bed when a noise that sounded like an explosion rocked their house east of Greenwood.

It was 3:30 a.m. when Steve and Mary Clarkson went outside and searched their dark yard with a flashlight. Steve Clarkson found tire tracks leading to a pickup truck, which had smashed through the southeast corner of their home in the 9100 block of Shelbyville Road.

Police are now trying to figure out who was driving the vehicle when it crashed into the house, Sheriff Doug Cox said. Two people who were injured in the crash said a friend was driving. When police found the man they identified as the driver, he didn’t appear to have any injuries and said he was not driving the truck, Cox said.

Anyone sleeping in the bedroom of the brick ranch where the truck came through likely would have been seriously injured or killed, Cox said. The Clarksons were in a different part of the house and were not injured.

Despite the hole left in the side of their house, the Clarksons haven’t had to leave and were having a repair company seal the breach Monday.

“There’s a whole section of the wall gone. Half of the east end of the house, it looks like it’s pretty well destroyed and 5 or 6 feet to the south side. The foundation appears intact, but the subfloor and the flooring on top of it are shot,” Steve Clarkson said.

The truck smashed an antique cedar chest, destroyed items that belong to Steve Clarkson’s mother, broke the bed and threw other items all over the bedroom, Steve Clarkson said. He couldn’t guess at the cost of the damage. Insurance agents were coming later in the day.

Firefighters surveyed the damage and determined the house was structurally safe, so the Clarksons were allowed to stay. The truck was towed away about an hour after the accident, Steve Clarkson said.

The truck was traveling at a high speed and missed a left-hand curve on Shelbyville Road, located about a half-mile south of County Line Road, the police report said. The truck hit a large dip after leaving the road, missed several trees and went more than 100 yards before spinning into the side of the brick house, which is just north of the bend in the road, the report said.

Two people got out of the truck and were in the yard when the homeowners came outside. Police talked to the two men, who said their friend called them and offered to buy drinks if they’d go with him to the casino in Shelbyville, the report said. Both men had been drinking before the accident, but told police they didn’t know if their friend, who they said was driving, had been drinking, the report said.

Both men had burns and bruises on their chests from their seat belts, and the man in the back seat had leg injuries, the report said. They declined medical treatment from paramedics and were taken to Greenwood.

Police spent the day searching the area and eventually found the third man, but he said he was not driving the truck, Cox said. Police were continuing to question him Monday afternoon and planned to get a DNA sample to try to match to blood that was collected off the driver’s side airbag, Cox said.

The two men who stayed at the accident site were not arrested, Cox said. The seat belt marks and injuries appear to match their claim about being passengers, but police are still investigating, he said.

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