Drunk Driving Accident Burns Home To The Ground - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/09/05 - Hudson

Drunk Driving Accident Burns Home To The Ground

by Chris Cato

Janice Thompson said, "I heard a noise like there was a wreck and I got up and checked and looked out but I didn't see nothing."

Janice didn't see anything because the alleged drunk driver that did all this damage to her fence had already left. What nobody realized is that when the driver rammed through the iron fence, breaking huge poles and ripping posts right out of the ground, he also broke the regulator on a nearby gas meter causing a surge of gas to go straight into the Thompson's home.

When the hot water heater kicked on, the gas lit.

Janice said, "Flames was just to the ceiling."

The Thompsons barely got out before the house was engulfed in flames.

Janice said, "All we got out was our medicine and the clothes we have on."

By the time fire officials were able to get the gas shut off, it was too late. The roof had caved in and the house was a total loss.

As for the driver, he didn't exactly get away. Not only did he leave a trail of antifreeze leaking from his car because of the accident, he left a trail of destruction, hitting mailboxes along his way. Officers were able to quickly pull him over and arrest him.

The driver of the pickup, 37-year-old Joe Clark, is out of the Angelina County Jail on a $1,500 bond. The only charge against him is DWI.

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