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Man charged with DUI after crashing into residence

A man who was “extremely intoxicated” lost control of his car on Douglas Branch Road near Rocky Ford at 6:30 a.m. Friday, striking a mailbox and power line guy wire before landing sideways on the porch of a house, the Georgia State Patrol said.

The driver, 45-year-old Kenneth Eugene Barnard, narrowly missed some children, said Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile.

“There were children there,” Kile said. Barnard was so intoxicated that it was luck, not skill that saved the children from being hit in the crash that occurred just before sunrise, the sheriff said. “It was pure luck.”

Barnard, who lives just down the street from where the accident occurred, was charged with driving under the influence, failure to maintain lane, driving too fast for conditions and failing to wear a seat belt, the report by Trooper 1st Class C.N. Rodewolt said.

Douglas Branch Road is northeast of Highway 17, near Rocky Ford. Barnard was traveling northbound in his 1998 Isuzu Rodeo SUV when he drove onto the shoulder, overcorrected and entered a ditch. The vehicle stuck a mailbox and a Planters Electric guy wire before turning on its side and landing on the porch of a house.

The vehicle traveled 453 feet from where it first left the road to where it finally stopped at the house, Rodewolt’s report said.

The report indicated that Barnard was not ejected or trapped and was not injured in the crash.