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8/22/2013 6:02:00 AM
Wreck demolishes car, wall; debris sent flying in Kingman
A Kingman teenager was crying and on her cell phone when for unknown reasons she crashed through the backyard wall of a home in the 3900 block of Heather Avenue Tuesday evening. The girl suffered minor injuries. Damage to the home and yard was extensive. (Courtesy)
A Kingman teenager was crying and on her cell phone when for unknown reasons she crashed through the backyard wall of a home in the 3900 block of Heather Avenue Tuesday evening. The girl suffered minor injuries. Damage to the home and yard was extensive. (Courtesy)
Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - A 16-year-old teenager who crashed her car through a block wall on Airway Avenue Tuesday night told a Kingman police officer she was driving recklessly because she was "having a bad day."

Given the extensive damage to Joe Gilbert's Heather Avenue home and backyard, the girl is lucky the day wasn't her last.

She's also fortunate the Gilberts were at soccer practice and nobody was home. Flying debris seriously damaged a playground set his three young children play on nearly every evening.

Three windows were broken, as were several roof tiles. The stucco siding was riddled with holes and broken cinder blocks littered the backyard and some landed in the front yard after flying over the roof, a good 70 feet from Airway Avenue.

Three trees were destroyed, one cut down as if by a chainsaw.

Inside, glass from the broken windows littered the bed and floor in the master bedroom. A three-foot length of rebar and mortar-filled cinder block was impaled on the window frame. The living room wasn't in much better shape.

Neighbor Eric Seaholm thought the loud noise he heard at about 7 p.m. was the sound of a plane crash, not a 2002 Ford Mustang barreling through a reinforced block wall in excess of 50 mph.

"I didn't hear that metal sound you hear in a car crash," Seaholm said. "I didn't hear brakes."

According to the police report, no evidence was found the girl ever applied her brakes.

The girl said she had no idea how the crash occurred, but she admitted she was driving recklessly on the end of Airway Avenue, which is dirt, and ran the four-way stop sign at Prospector Street. About a block from Prospector she had to turn sharply right in order to strike the wall.

"It was surreal," said Gilbert, the associate pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Kingman. "The police called us on our way home and said the damage was extensive, but I didn't imagine anything like this."

Gilbert and his family are grateful the girl survived, and they feel blessed they were not at home.

"My kids are always out there," he said. "I just built my patio. That swing is the favorite of my oldest." He has three children, ages 5, 4 and 2.

Looking at the broken play set with a still-dazed look in his eye, Gilbert said he would reach out to the troubled girl if he could.

"I would want her to know we're not mad at her," he said. "I would absolutely forgive her and I'm grateful my kids were not hurt. It was a good opportunity to pray and give thanks. I definitely wouldn't want to add to her bad feelings about life."

The girl was cited for reckless driving, failure to control speed to avoid crash and failure to provide proof of insurance, although she assured the officer the car is insured.

Personnel from the Kingman Fire Department treated the girl at the scene and transported her to Kingman Regional Medical Center. The officer said she was sitting on the curb when he arrived and blood was on her face, arms and legs.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Article comment by: concerned teen

You know, parents and adults who are saying "kids dont have a reason to have a bad day" or "theyre like what i see on tv" your eyes. Teens might not have a choice to talk to someone like their parents about whats going on or everyone might just think they're crazy. No teen can ACTUALLY say theres someone they can go to who wont judge.

Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013
Article comment by: concerned neighbor

Hopefully they take her license until she's 18 then hopefully she has grown up by then. I know it says nothing of drugs or alcohol of being a factor but dang girl you did this sober... reminds me of what happens on some of these MTV shows. Everyday i drive by this scene and see all the child play equipment in the backyard riddled with pieces of block from the wall and then to read this "I WAS HAVING A BAD DAY" i call bs.

Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013
Article comment by: Sara Woods

First off Thank god she is OK! It is a blessing that everyone is fine and no one was badly hurt.
Second off I would like to know why "What a blessing, real forgiveness" would add in a comment " I pray there were no drugs in her system" where in the article does this say drugs might be a Factor????
She admitted to having a bad day. Doesn't mean she took drugs or wanted to kill her self or anyone else in that matter. Everyone is entitled to have a bad day. Not every teen that has bad days are wanting to comit suicide.
This young girl is very smart, outgoing, fun Person. She is a very Loving girl with a giant heart. and yes thank you to the Family for which they have forgiven her, They truely are great people.

Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013
Article comment by: Mercy Abounds

What a spirit of mercy and grace has been demonstrated by this pastor and his young family. They have weeks of contractors and inconveniences ahead of them and yet they are choosing to focus on the blessing that no one was killed. As a community, we should all be glad those three precious children were not playing in that back yard. Let's pray that teen girl finds the only source of true peace.

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Article comment by: What a blessing, real forgiveness

What a miracle this girl wasn't killed. And she should feel blessed that the home owners are so forgiving. I pray there were no drugs in her system. And I pray that if she is depressed or has any issue's she seeks help. Teens these days don't like to open up and talk to adults about their "issue's" but someone must help this girl. And praise to you pastor for your forgiveness!

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Article comment by: Larry Thornton

I saw these, and many more pictures the night of the accident. So glad the young lady was not hurt worse, nor that Pastor Joe and his wife, Julia, and their children were not hurt either.

Pastor Joe definitely has a heart for young people. If you have teenagers and would want to find a good youth group for them we would love to have you visit us at Cornerstone Baptist Church on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Our church address is 4220 N. Sierra Rd. (1 block off Stockton Hill Rd)

Larry Thornton

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Article comment by: Pat Medaris

It sounds like the girl was trying to end her bad day permanently. I hope she comes to realize that life is worth living and that I'm sure there are family and friends out there that love her. I hope she gets the help she needs to teach her how to cope with bad days, stress, and to look at the positive side of things. Life can be difficult, but if you just try to find a bit of good it helps to take the sting out of it :)

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