Ron Walker believes higher forces kept him alive and unharmed Thursday morning when a concrete truck crashed through his home and barely missed him.
Walker, who lives on Midland-Fosterville Road, was sleeping in his upstairs garage apartment when awakened by a "horrendous noise" and his window air conditioner dropping on his foot. Shattered glass and smoke filled his living room.
"I was wanting out," Walker recalled. "I called 911 and climbed outside onto a truck. I looked at the barrel and realized it was a concrete truck. If it had been one more foot, I wouldn't have survived."
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Bryan White identified the driver as Ronald Wayne Carlton, 40, of Wears Drive in Murfreesboro.
THP Sgt. Anthony Griffin said the preliminary investigation showed Carlton was driving on the narrow road when he moved to the right while another vehicle passed. The truck tires dropped off the road on the right side, then struck a mailbox, splintered a utility pole, shoved a parked wrecker several yards and crashed through the block building. The truck was loaded with concrete.
"If it had been a foot or two to the right, it would more than likely have collapsed the second floor of the apartment," Sgt. Griffin said.
Paramedics treated Carlton but Walker escaped serious injury.
Walker said the wrecker was owned by his late brother, Steve, who died about two years ago. He believes the concrete truck colliding with the parked wrecker slowed the approach into his home.
"Steve Walker saved my life," Ron Walker said, explaining if the wrecker had not been parked there, the concrete truck could have injured him.
And the previous night, Ron Walker rented and watched the movie, "God's Not Dead." He prayed before falling asleep on the living room floor instead of his bedroom, closer to where the concrete truck crashed.
"God's not dead," a relieved Walker said.
His mother, Joyce Speakman of Murfreesboro, hugged her son repeatedly.
"I thank God," the mother said. "I'm so happy nothing happened to him. He was so shook up when he called me. He got that movie for a reason."
Other agencies responding to the crash included the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services and Special Operations Response Team, Rutherford County Fire and Rescue and Midland-Fosterville Volunteer Fire Department.