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Drunk driver crashes into Missoula family's home

The family home is now structurally damaged, and unsafe for kids
Posted at 12:01 PM, Dec 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-22 14:01:24-05

MISSOULA — A Missoula family is spending the holidays in a hotel, after a drunk driver crashed a car into their home. The family home is structurally damaged, and unsafe for kids.

Wednesday night, James and Jerilyn Waddell were dancing in their kitchen cooking dinner for their five children, when they heard a bang come from the stairs. The commotion turned out to be a drunk driver going off the road and crashing into their house.

"I think we both just jumped, and we were going what was that, and then I heard my son screaming," said Jerilyn Waddell.

She said it sounded like a bomb. No one was hurt in the incident, but Waddell said her kids are shaken up.

"What's next ya know, nobody ever expects or plans for something like that to happen and I have five kids that run up and down those stairs all the time. When I heard my son screaming, I just didn't know if he was on the stairs," said Jerilyn.

Insurance adjusters told the family it’s too much work to fix the building right away.

"It was the next morning after the event that we were told we needed to move out."

James Waddell said the house is no longer safe for kids.

They are now staying in a hotel, trying to find a new place, and changing plans for Christmas.

Despite the situation, the couple is staying positive.

"No one was injured at all and we're really thankful for that. It could have been so much worse,” said James. "I have never been part of a community that has loved my family or me this well. People have stepped in, people I don't know have messaged, people have offered so much beyond what I could expect."

The Waddells want to emphasize that they forgive the person responsible.