WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WNCN) — A man was charged with leaving the scene after his car was found in a swimming pool of an apartment complex on Bethania Station Road Friday morning.
Rescue crews in dive gear worked to pull the car out of the pool and finally fished it out around noon.
Neighbors like Lisa Boyles watched on in disbelief.
“I walked out the door and looked up and this parking lot was full of vehicles,” said Boyles. “I was like what is going on!”
Winston-Salem police say James Poe’s car came through the fence surrounding the pool before crashing into the pool. Lt. Steven Tollie with the Winston-Salem Police Department says officers found clothes and other items from the car scattered around the pool but Poe had already fled the scene.
“I’ve been doing this job for almost 23 years and this is my first time dealing with something like this,” said Tollie. “It has been a learning experience! ”
Hours later, Poe returned back to the scene and turned himself in to police.
Poe said it was all just an accident.
He claims he was trying to find a parking spot but the lot was full.
He stopped his car to turn around.
But first, Poe says he got out of the car to check and see if he had enough room to make the turn without hitting another car.
Poe says he thought his car was in park when got out, but when he turned around, he saw it rolling towards the pool.
Poe says he tried to save it from crashing but he was too late.
“It just happened so fast. I just couldn’t stop it,” said Poe. “I tried to stop the car from hitting the fence but I couldn’t before I could get inside and stop it.”
Poe says he left the scene in a panic.
“I thought the police had been called. I had to get home because it was 5 o’clock in the morning and it was a 45 minute drive home and my son was at home by himself,” said Poe.
Poe says he returned to the scene because he wants to make things right.
“I apologize to the community right here for the inconvenience for the pool and all that,” he said. “I’m going to pay for the fence to get done and all that.”
Poe was cited for Hit and Run and Driving Without Insurance.
Nobody was injured, but it could be a while before neighbors are allowed to go swimming again.
“That’s the only thing that keeps me here is that pool. I’m serious! I’m up there every time I’m off,” said Boyles. “So I guess now I’ll have to get me a little splash pool to put by the pool house. I can’t go up there!”
The owner of the apartment complex says they’ll drain the pool and start making repairs on Saturday.
The pool will not be allowed to officially re-open without approval from the City of Winston-Salem.