KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A family and some children are without a place to live after a drag racing crash on Magnolia Avenue killed one person and left two children injured.
The crash not only affected those in the initial accident but also those living in the Safe Haven house, where one of the cars ended up inside the building. Located on the 3000 block of Magnolia, the two-story house is over a block from where the deadly crash happened, near the intersection of Milligan and Magnolia.
“The firemen actually had to rescue my two daughters out of the window and off the roof. That staircase is the only way to access the duplex upstairs,” Safe Haven resident Breyauna Holloway said. “Due to people’s carelessness and recklessness, not only have they taken lives and changed lives forever. They’ve displaced me and my five children along with two of the young men staying up there as well.”
The house opened as the Safe Haven Empowerment Center in 2020 to serve as a safe space for Knoxville’s at-risk youth. An East Knoxville man, Lawrence Williams, put together the house as a way to give back to the community.
Serving multiple facets to empower youth, the house was created to provide opportunities for those that the world has thrown away, giving them space for mentorship, learning life skills, a place to do homework or apply for jobs, to hang out and get hot meals every day. In addition to the upstairs apartment, there are also beds for nights when a young person does not have a place to say.
Williams has started a GoFundMe to help find a new home for the nonprofit “that is safe and sound so that we can continue providing shelter to those in need.” He is hoping to raise $200,000.
Two people were charged with felony reckless endangerment and drag racing following the crash.