INDIANAPOLIS — What was supposed to be a family pizza gathering turned into a day one Indianapolis family said they will never forget.
“My 6-year-old, he had just gotten cleared to go back to eating regular foods because he had just had surgery two weeks ago. We were in the back room, my mother, myself and my husband were talking about what type of pizzas to get, what they would like and what to have,” said Tina Humphrey.
It was in those moments that Humphrey said everything happened in the blink of an eye.
The Indianapolis Fire Department was dispatched to the 3000 block of Beeler Ave. just before 2 p.m. on December 10 after officials said a 13-year-old drove her mother’s SUV into a neighbor’s home.
“It was a big loud sound, and my mother was closest to my bedroom door. She thought it was a bomb. That’s what she screamed out,” said Humphrey, who was home at the time with her mother, husband and her three youngest children.
“Following that big loud sound, it was like a crashing sound and my 6-year-old’s bedroom door slammed shut. Three of us rushed to make it to my children because at the time we thought our 2-year-old was in the room too,” said Humphrey.
Humphrey said they quickly ran to make sure their children and pets were okay. It wasn’t until her mother turned the corner and noticed the SUV that they realized exactly what had happened.
“My kids are my world. I’m a mother, it was scary because we didn’t know what had, so just those short seconds making it to their room kind of traumatized me,” said Humphrey.
Humphrey said their family had only lived in the home for about two months before the crash occurred.
“We were still getting things settled in,” she said.
Humphrey said her 6-year-old son was on his bed, when the impact sent him flying off and into a wall. She said her other children and pets had pieces of the roof and other debris land on them as a result of the crash.
“My 6-year-old’s dealing with a concussion. We asked him his birthday, he can’t remember it. It’s just a little hard and we’re just trying to be as strong as we can for our children, definitely around this time of year,” said Humphrey.
The moment of impact was caught on the family’s interior home security camera, which faces the doorway to her son’s room. She said watching him being thrown in the air is difficult to stomach.
“It’s just a lot to deal with. Especially his little body seeing him being thrown. It breaks me when I talk about it, it breaks me when I have to watch the video again, it breaks me when someone asks to see the video, but it’s something that shows how serious it was,” said Humphrey.
Humphrey said no other family members suffered any major injuries in the crash, but that they are dealing with trauma after living through the chaotic moments on December 10.
“It changed our lives. My family’s traumatized, definitely my children,” she said. “Even pulling back up to the house to try to clean or move things, my kids don’t want to be there. They cry or say can we leave now?”
Officials said the 13-year-old in the driver’s seat of the SUV was transported to an area hospital to be checked out after the accident. No charges have been filed in the crash.
Humphrey said she isn’t upset with the girl who allegedly caused the crash or by what happened; she is just working to figure out what’s next for their family.
“I have a 13-year-old stepson. She’s a child. She doesn’t know what happened, mom doesn’t know what happened and I believe it was a complete accident,” said Humphrey. “I’m not upset with her, I’m not upset with them, it’s just the situation that we’re both in and have to deal with the best we can.”
While Humphrey said her family does have renter’s insurance, she said the process is taking longer than she hoped and her family is feeling the burden of the impacts caused by the crash.
“Everything has been out-of-pocket. With that being out-of-pocket, the things that we usually do for Christmas is not happening this year,” said Humphrey. “We were planning to go to the Fairgrounds to see the lights because that’s something that we do. That’s not happening this year.”
She said one of the more difficult parts of the situation right now is coming up with a good answer when her children ask what their plans are for Christmas this year.
“I don’t have an answer to that,” she said. “It’s just making sure my kids are eating and paying for the hotel rooms, which are not cheap when we’re having to stay a week at a time.”
“I do wish that my insurance moved quicker, but I’m realizing some things are just out of my control.”
Since the accident, Humphrey said members of the community have shown their support for their family, which is something they are grateful for.
“The next day that it happened I reached out to Indy CARES and that same day they were there to help me and my babies – I call them my babies,” said Humphrey. “I definitely appreciate that.”
The nonprofit said it would help temporarily house Humphrey’s pets until the family can move back into their home.
She said she also posted in a group for moms on Facebook, asking for any tips or suggestions.
“I got a lot of people concerned and praying for us and I had people messaging me about helping or resources that they know of. I am appreciative, I really am, but I know it doesn’t stop there. I have to still figure out where do we go from here, what’s next for my family within these coming days and within the holiday,” said Humphrey.
Through all of this, she said she is grateful for the fact that her family is alive and that her biggest blessings are here with her this holiday season.
“Just try to stay positive even during hard times and love, love, love, show your love to your family, the people that you love. Hug them, love them because you never know what could happen, even in your own home,” said Humphrey.
The family has set up a fundraiser to help during this time. For anyone who may be interested in learning more, you can visit the link, here.