A family of six is staying in a hotel after their vehicle crashed into their living room in Roswell, Georgia, on March 22. The mishap happened after a tow truck driver tried to repossess the family car.
Benjamin Paul was a few months behind on his car payments after buying the family’s first home a year ago and welcoming his six-week-old baby. Paul is also the father of three other children, including a 1-year-old. Paul said that he was surprised to learn that the family vehicle was scheduled for repossession.
When a repo man from Dismuke Recovery came to his home to repossess his vehicle, Paul tried to explain the family situation to no avail.
“I didn’t know that the car was out for repossession,” said Paul. “I knew I was behind on payments, and I had asked them for an extension, and I was kind of going back and forth via phone call or email. We hadn’t worked out an agreement, so they sent a repo person to the house.”
Paul said after he collected his children’s car seats and other valuables from the vehicle, he went back into his home to go back to work. The tow truck driver did not properly secure the car after dropping it from the street on the driveway, and it rolled down the driveway and through the gate into the family’s living room, nearly hitting Paul’s toddler in the process.
“It was alarming because I hear a loud crashing sound. It sounded like the house fell on top of itself,” Paul told Atlanta News First. “And then I’m hearing screaming. My wife is screaming, my baby is screaming. So, I was thinking that the baby got hurt.”
Paul ran into the living room just in time to see his wife picking up their 1-year-old, who had been a few feet away from the window when the car crashed through it.
The tow truck driver apologized for the accident, and Paul said he received a call from the company requesting an estimate for the cost of repairing the home. As for now, they are staying in a hotel while their home gets fixed, which will take at least three weeks.
The father of four told 11Alive News that he and his wife weren’t sure they should tell their story.
“My wife and I talked at length if I should share this story because it’s embarrassing for the family.. that’s fine,” Paul said. “I would rather humble myself and ask for help than suffer in silence.”
Paul also set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses as they pay for housing until their home is repaired.
“After putting all of our savings into a downpayment on our first house less than a year ago and paying medical bills out of pocket, we got a little behind on a few bills, primarily our car note,” he wrote. “All of this led to an event our family would never have imagined.”
He added, “We are in need of a place to stay and we’ve incurred expenses as a result of being displaced for a time. Most importantly, we need a car. Like many Americans, we’ve been living check to check for a long time, and we were unprepared for a situation like this. Right now, we need all the help we can get to afford living accommodations, a family vehicle and additional expenses. Thank you for your generosity.”