John Derrington and Destiny Womack made a rather unexpected home renovation after a near-death experience on Dec. 1, 2018.
Derrington was sitting at the dining room table that Saturday morning when he looked up to see a pickup truck barreling toward his home at 425 N. Spring St.
Before he grasped what was happening, the truck crashed into the dining room and catapulted him into the kitchen.
About the crash: Murfreesboro police pursuit ends with driver crashing into North Spring Street home
"All I remember was a large boom … and I opened my eyes," Derrington said. "I remember walking through the front door and seeing this truck sitting right there in my dining room. … It was crazy."
A woman evading police blew through the stop sign at Bell and Spring streets. She was arrested and taken to jail.
The truck driven by Jessica Ann Esparza crashed into the house at 425 N. Spring St. in Murfreesboro. The home has since been remodeled.
Derrington was left in shock as he tried to process the event. He sustained bumps and bruises. "I was sore for a month," he said. Womack was asleep in bed when it happened, so she was unharmed.
But the home didn’t fare so well. There was a gaping hole in the dining room. Firefighters erected a support beam to prevent the roof from caving in even more.
Some key dining room furnishings were destroyed — an antique buffet. "We lost about 80 percent of our collection of Murfreesboro ornaments from Country Gourmet," Womack said.
But it was time to rebuild.
Although they’d finished remodeling their beloved 1930s cottage in 2017, Derrington and Womack took the opportunity to make some changes. And the builder listened.
"We told him ideas .. and he was like, ‘No problem,’" Derrington said.
The home of John Derrington and Destiny Womack at 425 N. Spring St. in Murfreesboro. They remodeled the exterior and part of the interior after a driver plowed through the dining room, located on the left side.
Staying downtown with business
Their love of downtown and Murfreesboro is reflected in almost everything they remodeled.
"We tried to use as many local — especially downtown — businesses," Derrington said.
First the structure had to be restored, including new foundation and walls. French doors were added between the dining and living rooms. A half wall between the kitchen and dining room was taken out and replaced with a bar and granite counter tops.
A box window with a bench was added to the front to give extra space and storage.
Instead of repainting the exterior white, Womack chose a dark blue that stands out, complemented by copper gutters and roof over the bump-out window to add "something a little bold." The front porch was enhanced with wooden beams and a swing.
Trim work in the damaged areas and City Tile laid new flooring in the common areas.
There are all new customized light fixtures from ReVintaged Lemon.
Dining room chairs were reupholstered by Dreaming in Color.
And they are still adding elements back to the house.
Polly Blair with Blackberry House Paint found an identical match to the buffet lost in the crash. She’s in the process of refinishing it.
A specialty crafted chandler was created for the dinning room of John Derrington and Destiny Womack on Spring Street, in Murfreesboro on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 after a car ran a stop sign across the street crashing into the dinning room in Dec. 2018.
There were some pieces salvaged, including the hearty wooden farm table Derrington was sitting behind during the crash, although you’ll still find a "souvenir" from the accident: a tire mark.
"Because the table is so solid, they suspect that if the table hadn’t been there and pushed me through that opening (by the half wall in the kitchen), it would have killed me," Derrington said.
Although the crash was jarring, Derrington said he’s not traumatized by it. In fact, he looks at it as an opportunity for forgiveness, and one of blessings.
"We survived," he said.
One of the most amazing things about the ordeal, they said, was the response from the downtown community.
"People were here sweeping up glass, helping move debris out of the way. I had friends helping the company board up the house. … I was really moved," Derrington said. "Seeing the goodness in others is inspiring."
Reach reporter Nancy DeGennaro at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @NanDeGennaro.