Sullivan County

SUV crash sends transformer crashing through woman's ceiling

Transformer falls in house

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - A Sullivan County woman is left with minor injuries, shaken nerves, and a shattered bedroom after a transformer crashed through her ceiling.

Officials said the crash was the result of a young woman drinking and driving.

One look at Janet Barker's bedroom splattered with drywall and insulation, and you'll understand why she said she's lucky to be alive. "There's a huge hole in my roof! There's a hole in my floor," Barker told News 5.

The damage was caused by what fell through her roof, and officials tell us that was due to an SUV driving down Ridge Drive.

Sullivan County deputies said 23-year-old Megan Cross was likely speeding when she lost of the vehicle and hit a mailbox.

Once the SUV got on Barker's property, she said it smashed one of her cars, but didn't stop there. "It took a flower pole with bird feeders out of the ground. Then [it] hit the guide wire on the light pole, and it made it do like a sling shot and it threw the transformer," said Barker.

That's right -- an electrical transformer crashed through Barker's roof into the very bedroom where she was watching television. "It was like a 380-pound bullet going through my ceiling," Barker said about the experience.

The crash sent that 'bullet' down with a shower of debris. "I thought the car was in my bedroom with me cause everything went black," said Barker. "[Debris] mashed my mouth and my nose, and of course I got a black eye."

Officers told News 5 when they got to the scene, they found the SUV also hit Barker's shed and house. "They observed an open beer can inside the vehicle. In addition, a strong odor of alcohol was detected on the suspect," said Leslie Earhart, the public information officer for the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department.

While investigating, officers said they also found marijuana and a white powdery substance. Cross was charged with a second offense DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia, among other charges.

Barker just hopes this close call will be a valuable life lesson. "You can't be vengeful. You just got to hope she changes her life around and does better, and maybe this will teach her something," said Barker.

Another fact we've learned on this case: Officers said Cross was driving the SUV without permission.

We're told Cross is out of jail on a $5,000 bond.

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