MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Jason Peck had a reliable car to get him to his doctor’s appointments but says a drunk driver destroyed that vehicle while it was sitting in a driveway, and now he’s having trouble getting the man’s insurance company to replace it.
“I’ve had to reschedule one doctor appointment already,” said Peck, an artist who battles muscular dystrophy. “I had an appointment for April 7, and I’ve already canceled that one because I know I won’t have transportation for it.”
On March 21, Peck spent the day with his sister and brother-in-law and decided to stay the night at their house in the 1700 block of Danville in East Memphis.
He said his Honda Civic was the only vehicle in their driveway when a driver plowed through their yard straight into the back of his car. The impact of the collision was so hard, the vehicle got wedged next to a post in their carport.
“It was around 8-8:30 p.m. I heard the loudest boom I’ve ever heard. I fell off the couch,” Peck said. “And I got to the front door to look, and they were still in the car. They were trying to leave. They were trying to back the car out, but they didn’t know they had broken their front wheels.”
Memphis police said the driver, Fernando Lopez, 24, admitted he had been drinking and smelled heavily of alcohol. They said he was arrested after he failed a field sobriety test and refused a breathalyzer test. Peck said the driver and three passengers in his car also tried to fight neighbors, trying to keep him from leaving the scene.
“They were trying to fight all the way until the police got there,” Peck said,
Police said Lopez was driving without a driver’s license but did have insurance. However, Peck said more than two weeks later, he still doesn’t know the status of his claim with Lopez’s insurance company, and his car is still sitting in front of his sister and brother-in-law’s home.
“Yeah, the one time after the accident they said ‘We’ll be out tomorrow and take care of it.’ They even told him to send pictures because they said we are pretty sure it’s totaled and said we’ll just go ahead and expedite the check right now and then we never heard from them again,” said Peck’s brother-in-law, John Jackson.
We contacted Trexis Insurance to find out if someone was coming to look at Peck’s vehicle but so far have not heard back from anyone. According to the Better Business Bureau, over the last three years, 74 complaints were made against the company that were eventually resolved.
Peck said he knows his car isn’t worth a lot, but it’s valuable to him, and he needs a way to get around.
“I’m not mad at the driver. I’m thankful he wasn’t hurt. I’m thankful his passengers weren’t hurt. I just hope he learns something from this and that he doesn’t do it again,” Peck said.
Lopez is charged with DUI, reckless driving, public intoxication, driving without a license, and refusing to submit to a BAC test.
UPDATE: Peck said a day after WREG contacted Trexis, they sent out a claims adjuster and promised to resolve the whole thing within the next 24-48 hours.