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UPDATE: SUV crashes into Columbia family's kitchen

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | 6:03 p.m. CDT; updated 11:17 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The property manager and staff assess the damage done to a house on West Oak Drive by Nifong Boulevard on Wednesday morning. The car ran off Nifong, passing through a field, a partition of trees and the Dennison's backyard before ending up in the family's kitchen and living room. No one was home at the time of the incident.

COLUMBIA — Early Wednesday morning, a Chevy Blazer crashed into a house at 3911 W. Oak Drive.

At approximately 8:20 a.m., the Columbia Fire Department responded to a report of an injury accident and found an SUV stuck in the back of the residence, almost completely inside the house. Officials from the fire department said the property damage was estimated to be around $20,000.

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The driver, whose name police have not released, was out walking around the scene and was transported by ambulance to Boone Hospital Center for minor injuries. There were no passengers in the vehicle, and no one else was injured.

The 46-year-old male driver was headed east on Nifong Boulevard when he ran through a wood fence, two rows of trees and a wire fence before crashing into the kitchen and dining area located in the back of Chuck and Christina Dennison's home. No one was home when the crash occurred.

Jessie Haden, a Columbia Police Department spokeswoman, said the driver wasundergoing medical examination, but they do not think that he was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

Police searched through Chuck Dennison's office and found his phone number. Dennison was contacted shortly after 10 a.m.

"There is a vehicle in your kitchen," Dennison said with a smile, describing the call from police that morning. "Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet."

Dennison surveyed the damage and retraced the path of the driver through his backyard.

"I can't believe he weaved his way through those trees without hitting anything," he said.

After speaking with the police, Dennison called his wife to break the news. The two walked around their property, examining the damage.

While Chuck Dennison was talkative, Christina Dennison was mostly silent, taking in the sight of the wreckage.

The Dennisons said their first fear was for their two Yorkshire Terriers who stay in a kennel in the kitchen during the day. Both dogs were unharmed and transported to a neighbor's home.

Ken Sadler, owner of the eight acres located behind the Dennison's home, was startled by the damage.

"I had no idea," he said. "I was mowing, and I saw people walking through here, and I wondered what happened."

Sadler has owned the land for 33 years and put up the fence and planted the trees that the driver drove through on his path toward the home.

"I am sorry to see that damage," Sadler said upon viewing the Dennisons' home. "The damage to our property is minimal to that."


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