“We’re putting in a drive-thru,” Stacy joked early Thursday afternoon as she, her husband and workers rummaged through the rubble that was their children’s play room.
At about 1 a.m., the Sherfeys were awoken by what sounded like a bomb going off. Neil dashed to the front room of the house to find it on fire. After making sure his family was safe, Neil went outside and proceeded to douse the flames with a garden hose. After a couple of minutes he noticed some bright lights coming from inside the house. It took him a few minutes to realize it was headlights.
The vehicle was a 2012 Ford driven by 23-year-old Ryan Mayfield, who happened to be the son of a friend, the Sherfeys said. Mayfield was arrested for reckless driving, according to Sparks police Detective Rocky Triplett, but Stacy was quick to come to his the driver’s defense. She said Mayfield, who is in the military, is home on leave and was the designated driver for some friends when the accident occurred.
Mayfield misjudged the weight of the car, which was carrying five people, and turned the corner of Pinewood and Rockwood drives too wide, Stacy said. He lost control, jumped the curb and crashed into the house.
Neil said that as he was putting out the fire, the next thing he knew Mayfield was there apologizing to him for the accident.
“He’s beating himself up enough,” Stacy said of Mayfield.
Triplett said alcohol was involved in the incident but that Mayfield was not charged with driving under the influence.
No injuries were reported, which is incredibly lucky, according to the Sherfeys. They said the children, 1-year-old Taylor and 4-year-old Danica, often sleep in the room where the car hit. The only casualties of the incident were toys.
By some miracle, a cabinet containing some precious items survived the accident. The tall, wood hutch was placed against the wall the car hit first and was simply shoved about 15 feet to the middle of the room. Some glass shelves in it were broken, but the items inside were only slightly singed and then dampened: three teddy bears and several tiny pairs of shoes that belonged to the Sherfey children in their first months of life. One of the most important items was a box of items belonging to the Sherfeys’ son who died two years ago of liver failure at just 18 months old.
Stacy said the Sparks firefighters made it a top priority to rescue the items when she told them what was inside. The Sherfeys also said many neighbors came to help them, making sure their children and dogs were OK so they could get started with the cleanup.
Throughout the day, friends showed up to check on the family, giving many opportunities to find the lighter side of the situation.
“We know you’re jealous because you want a drive-thru house,” Stacy said as a friend pulled up.