Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Injuries avoided when car crashes into Spring Hill home

SPRING HILL — As he watched a wrecker haul a Ford out of the family room of a ranch home on Linden Drive on Monday afternoon, Pastor John Hensel figured divine intervention must have helped avoid a tragedy.

"I definitely believe the Lord had his hand on things here," Hensel said. "As bad as the car is and as bad as the house is, it could have been a lot worse."

No one was seriously injured Monday when the 2003 Focus driven by Brandon Timothy Gaither of Spring Hill plowed through the front wall of the home, with at least one person inside.

Gaither, 20, was driving east near the 12000 block of Linden shortly before noon when he apparently lost control at the top of a hill and veered across the center line, into the yard and then the house, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

The car glanced off the garage wall and through the home's front door and adjoining wall, causing cinder blocks to tumble into the foyer and living room. The crash left a hole about 8 feet wide.

Jose Antonio Ramos-Rodriguez, who was in the home at the time, was not injured but was taken to a local hospital complaining of breathing problems, the Sheriff's Office said. His condition was not available.

Gaither was charged with careless driving. He declined to talk to a reporter at the scene.

"He's really upset," said Mary Gaither, who identified herself as Brandon's mother and who arrived at the scene shortly after the crash. Mary Gaither said the car is owned by her elderly mother.

Damage to the home was estimated at $17,000, the Sheriff's Office said. Nelida M. Pagan purchased the 22-year-old, 1,300-square-foot house in 2004, property records show. Pagan could not be reached Monday. Shortly after the crash, a county building official taped a sign to the front window announcing the building was no longer safe to occupy.

The Focus had about $10,000 worth of damage, the Sheriff's Office said. By 1:30 p.m., the car had been eased onto a wrecker and hauled away.

Hensel, the pastor at Christian Life Assembly of God Church in Spring Hill, came to the scene to support the Gaithers, who attend the church.

"I know Brandon is very sorry this accident has happened and that this has inconvenienced this family," Hensel said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or

Injuries avoided when car crashes into Spring Hill home 11/22/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 22, 2010 11:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 17:  Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts a pass during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  2. Despite pain, woman in court faces ex-boyfriend who lit her on fire



    Sheron Pasco sat in the wheelchair as her mother pushed it toward the man in the orange jail suit.

    Sheron Pasco, 39, right, along with her mother Tranda Webb, 62, pose for a photograph Wednesday, at their home in Port Richey. Pasco's former boyfriend John Riggins doused Pasco with gasoline and set her on fire after an argument last year.. CHRIS URSO   |   Times

  3. Florida starter under center still under wraps


    GAINESVILLE — With two weeks before Florida opens its season against Michigan, the Gators' three-way quarterback battle remains wide open.

    Luke Del Rio, right, is in the mix to start against Michigan in the season opener … as is Malik Zaire and Feleipe Franks.
  4. A sports rout on Wall Street


    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  5. Rick Kriseman picks Floribbean restaurant for Manhattan Casino

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG— Mayor Rick Kriseman has chosen a controversial restaurant concept to occupy the Manhattan Casino, saying he made a decision 11 days before the mayoral primary because he didn't want politics to get in the way of progress in struggling Midtown.

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson speaks during a Friday press conference announcing that the Callaloo Group will open a Floribbean restraurant in the historic Manhattan Casino in St. Petersburg's Midtown neighborhood. Some residents were upset with Mayor Rick Kriseman's choice, saying it will speed up gentrification of the area. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]