Car careens off road, through fence, down 20-foot retention wall, landing in woman’s backyard

Car careens off road, through fence, down 20-foot retention wall, landing in woman’s backyard
This is what Sarah Gellatly woke up to this morning -- a car, speeding on Roe Ford Road. flipped upside down in her backyard. (Source: Provided via WYFF)

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WYFF) - A Greenville County woman was just getting ready to go to sleep Friday morning after a long night working in the emergency room at Greenville Memorial Hospital when unexpected visitors dropped into her backyard.

"Didn't expect to wake up to this," Sarah Gellatly said.

She said she heard a very large crash, then looked outside her back bedroom window of her home in the Churchill Falls subdivision to see a car flipped upside down in her yard.

"I've made jokes about it - didn't think it would actually happen," Gellatly said.

The convertible Mitsubishi Eclipse was apparently speeding down Roe Ford Road, when the driver lost control, crashed through a wooden fence and dropped down a 20-to-25-foot cinder block retention wall.

Gellatly said she came downstairs and went outside to find two men getting out of the car.

They told her they were not hurt, and she went inside to call 911, she said.

When she returned to the backyard, she said they were gone.

Gellatly said she can understand how it happened, because people speed on the road above her house all the time.

"My bedroom window faces the road back there and I can constantly hear people speeding -- the whoosh of the cars -- behind the house," she said.

Gellatly said she has lived in the home for about a year, and has heard about this happening before.

"When I moved in, they told me about what happened a couple of years ago down the road, so it's always been a concern," she said.

The previous incident in April 2009 ended in death for a man in the same neighborhood.

Bill Bardsley, 62, was killed when a Maserati slammed through the back wall of his home while he was watching television on his couch.

John Ludwig was charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and was sentenced to probation and community service.

Gellatly said she's glad nobody was hurt, but has a message for anyone driving on Roe Ford Road.

“Just drive the speed limit please -- and wear your seat belt,” she said.

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