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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Young child survives crash into building

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kayden Milewski is held by his father, Matthew Hicks, moments after an SUV and another vehicle went through the wall of USA Printing on U.S. 41A North.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
Young Kayden's cries told the story.

Seconds after an SUV and car crashed through a wall of a U.S. 41A North business Saturday night, 18-month-old Kayden Milewski's cries filled the air.

His father, Matthew Hicks, knew one thing. Under the rubble of the smashed USA Printing building in El Bethel -- where the toddler and his father were living -- Kayden was alive.

"Two feet either side and things would have been different," said Don Hicks, owner of USA Printing and father/grandfather of Matthew and Kayden.

Seconds later, a man who ran to the crash scene from a nearby home pulled Kayden -- uninjured but shaken -- from under a garage door and pile of insulation and lumber.

Timothy Wayne Leverette, in a Bedford County Jail mug shot taken early Sunday.
Timothy Wayne Leverette, 53, of Cedar Grove Road near Unionville, who authorities said was intoxicated, lost control of his southbound Ford Explorer SUV and rammed through the building, taking a parked Oldsmobile Alero outside along for the ride. Both ended up inside -- and inches away from Kayden.

Leverette is charged with first offense DUI, reckless endangerment and driving on a revoked/suspended license.

"I looked up and I saw light literally in the door and everything crashed totally," Hicks said, cradling sleeping Kayden in his arms amidst chaos as emergency crews arrived late Saturday night.

"I ran and looked out the door and I could hear him crying. All I could think about was finding him and getting him out."

Kayden was in a bed near the right, or south, side of the structure, which may have helped save his life as two vehicles knocked inside the building ended up on the other side.

Chris Renna of Murfreesboro, who was visiting relatives on nearby Old Unionville Road, quickly appeared to help.

"I heard the crash and I ran over there," Renna said. "His father was looking through the debris for him. I asked where he was and he pointed to the debris and said, 'over there.' I picked him up and pulled him out."

A humble Renna said Hicks would quickly have found Kayden by himself.

"In my opinion, he would have been okay even if I hadn't been there."

Bedford County firefighters pick up portions of the wall of the USA Printing building. Kayden Milewski had been under the wreckage in the area near the firefighters. The SUV driven by Timothy Wayne Leverette is at left.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
Leverette was southbound on U.S. 41A, left the right side of the road and crashed into the north wall, State Trooper Chad McAnally said.

His SUV ended up partially on top of the Alero.

Amazingly, Leverette suffered only minor injuries and was able to walk away. Witnesses said he apologized for the crash.

Leverette was checked at Heritage Medical Center, then driven directly to Bedford County Jail by McAnally, where he was being held on $8,000 bond Monday.

The crash awoke Bedford County sheriff's deputy Corey Ewing, who was asleep at his home next door.

"I was in bed asleep and my house started shaking," Ewing said. "It rattled. I didn't know what was going on. I looked around the corner and saw the wreck."

"We've lost everything we've got," said an emotional Michelle Hicks, Don Hicks' wife, as she combed through the wreckage with her husband Saturday night.

Matthew Hicks is Don Hicks' son and her stepson.

But things looked brighter a day later.

One end of the interior of USA Printing was seriously damaged. The car at left was knocked inside from the parking lot.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
Don Hicks said Sunday USA Printing is still operating -- one side of the building sustained relatively little damage -- and the biggest loss was two printing presses.

The business will be closed for a few days to make repairs, Hicks said.

Blue Farrar, owner of the building, hasn't had a lot of luck lately either.

"It's the second building I've had hit in three weeks," Farrar said.

A vehicle struck the building housing Farrar's Wrecker Service on Madison Street Nov. 9, damaging one corner of the building and knocking a truck parked next door at Blue's Auto Sales through the wall of an adjoining flower shop a block away.