Man arrested for DUI after crashing into church

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CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- No one at Little Brad's store expected what happened at the church next door:

"I just heard the noise - something like a bomb sound, like a boom," said Mir Rahman, owner of Little Brad's store.

"I don't know how he lost control or whatever he did to the car, but it ran through the church and hit the fence and I saw him get out of the car," said Keith Cross, who saw the crash.

The owner of the store, Mir Rahman, and several customers said they couldn't believe their eyes on Wednesday. The wreck left a gaping hole in the Higher Ground Independent Church of God - and if not for the chain link fence separating the church from Rahman's store, the car could have hit several fuel tanks, causing an explosion. Rahman said the driver tried to run off:

"He was almost gone, but then we grabbed him from back there - from my building's back and we grabbed him and brought him here again," said Rahman.

Troopers charged the driver, John Brown, with second offense DUI and third offense driving on a revoked license.

Brown's niece said her uncle has a pill problem.

"My uncle does have a drug addiction, but he has prescriptions for everything that he does that I know of," said Erica Lane, Brown's niece.

She's hopeful the wreck will be a wakeup call:

"I hope he learns a lesson. Because I do want my uncle still around. Instead of him looking up to me, I want to be able to look up to him. I hope it does change him," said Lane.

Luckily, no one was inside the church when Brown crashed, and no one was injured.

"I'm grateful - thanks to God to one is hurt," said Rahman.

The pastor said a wall collapsed at the church, damaging an organ and a pew. He said they have insurance to pay for the repairs.

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