Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter

Published 2:40 pm Monday, December 29, 2003

By BY Chuck Bodiford Publisher
This Christmas Eve one Atmore family did not wake to the sound of reindeer landing on their roof, but a vehicle crashing into their house. Late Wednesday night a Ford Expedition traveling west on Woods Road lost control and crashed into a front bedroom of a residence. The occupants of the home, Charlie and Gwen Bodiford, woke to the noise of the crash, and immediately called 911 for help. As Gwen was reporting the accident to 911 personnel, Charlie attempted to assist the occupants of the Ford Expedition only to see it drive away.
"On Christmas Eve we went to bed about 10:30. My wife and I were in our bedroom and our daughter was in the back bedroom when I heard something, I thought, fall off my headboard. Seconds after that a loud bang was heard, and it came unmistakably here from the house," Charlie Bodiford said. "I jumped up and ran to the small bedroom door and snatched it open and looked in to see a vehicle inside the house. I told my wife to call 911 as I was trying to get out the front door, thinking the individual was maybe injured. I couldn't get the door open and heard him trying to crank the vehicle," continued Bodiford. "I ran back around to the bedroom and yelled 'Don't crank the vehicle, don't crank the vehicle.' I could smell some type of fumes which might have been gas coming from his vehicle and could ignite the house. He went ahead and cranked the vehicle and pulled away from the house and fled the scene."
Richard Daniels, a next-door neighbor, witnessed the vehicle running into the Bodiford's house. "They estimated he was doing about a 100 (MPH) when he came off that road. I came out when he skimmed the tree in my front yard and seen him run into their house."
An Alabama State Trooper who responded to the 911 dispatch was assisted with finding the vehicle by neighbors, but the driver of the vehicle could not be determined.
Charlie Bodiford wanted to inform the public of the condition of Woods Road by saying, "People who are traveling west bound on Woods Road, please be careful because the road looks like a straight road, and then you run up on this curve. I feel that a sign giving a speed limit and possibly another sign saying dangerous curve should be posted. Hopefully, this would slow some people down since this is a residential area and have children running around."
Gwen Bodiford added, " I am thankful for our neighbors who came out and helped not only by providing tarps and tape to close up the hole left by the vehicle, but they were the ones to that found the vehicle and informed the trooper where to look. We were not lucky, but blessed."
As of press time, investigations are ongoing.
Editor's note: Chuck Bodiford, Publisher of the Advance, is the son of Gwen and Charlie Bodiford, the homeowners in this story.

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