Petal police officer plants positive seed after driver crashes into home

Petal police officer plants positive seed after driver crashes into home
(Source: WDAM Staff)
(Source: WDAM Staff)
(Source: witness)
(Source: witness)

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - A small gesture planted a seed of appreciation in the heart of a Petal resident.

A drunk driver caused thousands in damage after plowing into a home. The driver hit Sylvina Buckley's house and cars, as well as a tree sentimental to her family.

Buckley said a kind act by a Petal police officer who went above writing an accident report, and touched her heart.

"My heart was beating really fast because we didn't know what it was," said Buckley.

That is when a startling screech interrupted the Petal family's calm evening.

"When it got near the window, it was like 'boom' and we knew something was wrong because it was really loud," Buckley said.

Buckley ran outside to find a woman wrapped in the mess made when she plummeted across their yard. Buckley said the crash barely missed the living room where the family sat.

"She knocked the street sign down, knocked our tree down, hit my daughter's car and knocked it out about six feet." Buckley said.

The tree that once sat at the end of the yard near fresh tire tracks was special to the Buckley's.

"It was something we did together, and because we knew how long it took that particular tree to come up.  Now, it's gone," Buckley said.

The driver was under the influence of beer, marijuana, and pills.

Officer Matt Shepard wrote the accident report, but returned to the residence again at a later date.

"He said, 'I noticed that your husband was kind of upset about his tree, so I purchased another one,'" said Buckley. "We were like, 'you didn't have to do that.'"

It was the type of act that Shepard said is important to make.

"He was really thinking about us the whole time," Buckley said. "My heart just kind of really was touched by what he did."

The potentially dangerous night led to a seed of kindness planted right in the Buckley's front yard.

"Because of the act of kindness that went behind the tree, we'll look at it differently. We made sure we planted it up here so no one will knock it down," Buckley said.

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