Jun 23 2016

Things That Go Bump in the Night

It’s not every day you can say someone ended a high speed chase with their car wedged beneath your deck (not that you’d want to, for that matter), but that was precisely the case for Folly resident Nancy O’Brien last week.

O’Brien, who had worked that evening, was home and awake when the commotion occurred in the wee hours of June 13. “I was in my bedroom about to put on my pajamas and saw flashing lights under the bedroom door, so I came out to see what was going on,” O’Brien said.

What she walked into was a wild experience, to say the least. “I heard someone yelling, ‘Roll over! Roll over! Roll over!’ I went out on the front porch, assuming a drunk person had passed out on the side of the road and the police were trying to revive him,” she explained. “So I came back inside and went to get a glass of water, and that’s when I saw the car right outside of the kitchen window.”

Talk about the stuff nightmares are made of! It was at that point O’Brien knew this wasn’t a typical case of late night shenanigans courtesy of an intoxicated beachgoer sleeping off a buzz.

“There isn’t a carport, driveway or car access to the backyard, so I then realized this was a bit more than a drunk passed out on the side of the road,” she said. “Actually, I was shocked and went to wake my roommate up. We approached a policeman who was walking into the back where the car was, and he told us it was a stolen car. They had chased the car from Walgreen’s on Folly Road right to our backyard!”

Amazingly, the car was in relatively decent shape, all things considered — “This young man seemed to miss all the heavy posts, large trees, etc. that were within inches of the car he was being chased in. He crashed into the underneath part of the deck, only breaking the lattice work. No serious damage was done,” revealed O’Brien.

But at least one Folly landmark did sustain some collateral damage: the Wave Watch Playground on West Cooper. The man fleeing custody was apprehended and taken away, at which point O’Brien and her roommate went out to survey the wreckage.

“We went out and saw the fences on both sides of the playground were down, and took pictures,” she told me, adding with a laugh, “Didn’t get much sleep that night!”

This is Folly Beach, though, and there’s always a silver lining, right? Aside from the fact no one was hurt and the damage caused by the fleeing car was minimal, O’Brien says it bolstered her respect for local law enforcement. “The police were very calm and professional considering the circumstances,” she shared. “I was very impressed!”

O’Brien hopes the entire ordeal serves as a learning experience for the young man and that he will “realize how fortunate he is.” As a reminder to herself how fortunate they were not to be affected by the fiasco more than they were, she’s hanging onto a souvenir, saying, “It was a wild experience for sure, and I have kept the piece of rear view mirror that was laying on the ground where he crashed as a reminder that Angels do protect us.”

And if you’re thinking of taking your kids to the Wave Watch Playground anytime soon, go for it! It’s basically as good as new and — bonus — community group Folly Green just added a brand new water bottle filling station right outside the gate.

Bob Hart Author

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