OKC Church Questions Who Should Pay After Crashes Damage Property

Monday, January 2nd 2012, 10:03 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma City pastor is questioning who should pay for the damage after high-speed chases come crashing to an end on church property.

It is the second time it has happened in less than a year.

The end of a pursuit exceeding 90 mph left quite a mess in the parking lot of WWJD Westlawn Church in Oklahoma City. For the church, New Year's stared with a bang, literally.

"I heard this incredible noise," Pastor Sandy Lynn Patton said. "It rolled, and [the driver] ejected when it rolled."

On Monday, Patton recalled the chase that started on Interstate 40 and almost ended inside her church.

"Going 90 mph down the wrong way on the I-40. You're going to kill somebody," Patton said.

The chase had troopers busy three hours into the new year. The car was traveling north on Villa in Oklahoma City, knocking over a street sign and flipping over four times. Patton says less than a year ago, a similar scene unfolded at her church. However, that time a car ended up driving through the church.

"We had to repair [the church] ourselves," Patton said.

Patton says the church foots the bill when the drivers do not have insurance of their own. The church is small, having 75 people in its congregation. The church also does not have insurance.

Patton says the city recently turned part of a sidewalk outside the church into a ramp without adding some sort of a barrier to prevent vehicles speeding onto the property. It's a problem the church wants fixed, so nothing like what happened on New Year's Day will happen again.

The church says it wants more barriers to offer more protection. It's calling on the city to get it done. OHP investigated the chase. Troopers have not said what led to the chase or crash.