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Out-of-control truck barrels through backyard, injures NC couple

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Nick and Brittany Schmidt (WSOC-TV)

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — A Kannapolis couple is recovering in the hospital after a truck barreled through their backyard and slammed into them.

WSOC-TV reported that it happened on Rogers Lake Road in Kannapolis Saturday morning.

Officers said 97-year old Ralph Chapman, who lives on the road, backed out of his driveway in his pickup truck. Rather than backing onto the street, he kept going, running right through his neighbor’s fence, and slamming into Nick Schmidt and Brittany Schmidt, who were in their backyard.

Neighbors who heard the crash said the elderly man was driving so fast when he backed through the fence that the three people in the yard had little time to get out of the way.

They said the truck did hit Nick Schmidt.  He screamed for everyone else to get out of the way, but they said his wife didn’t have any time.

“She got hit and she fell into the bed of the truck with the thing in her leg,” said one neighbor.

The elderly man’s truck came to rest against another truck that was parked in the backyard.  Nick Schmidt was pinned between the two. Despite her own injuries, neighbors said Brittany Schmidt was able to call 911 and ask for help.

“The younger brother was yelling, panicking, worried. We were flagging in paramedics, ambulance, fire people, it was  crazy.”

It took crews about 30 minutes to rescue everyone. The Schmidts were rushed to the hospital.

Officers said the district attorney will decide whether to charge the elderly man. Relatives said Saturday night that the couple was still in the hospital, but would recover.


  • Kennith Thomas

    No charges will be filed. All near deads get one free kill before anything is done. The sad thing is probably all his assets were transferred to his kids so recovering any money for injuries will be impossible. In the next ten years the elderly will kill more people with car than drunk drivers and it’s totally legal. No one will put a 97 year old in prison for killing a dozen kids at the bus stop. God help us all.

  • FaithC

    Should one be driving at 97? Your mind could be as sharp as a tack, but your reflexes are going to diminish over time. As my mother aged she gave up driving at night, then she would not drive on the highways, then she stopped altogether. She said she felt she no longer had the reflexes to be behind the wheel of a car. To bad all elderly do not have as much sense as my mom had.

    • news2me

      What the Heck do you consider too old?
      All of you are surmising that the elderly should not drive when the young are speeding down the road while texting, dialing, talking, following too close and are never driving defensively…
      Is that truck a Chevy???? GMC???
      I hope you follow your own advice…as you only have two choices in this life..
      You either get old….or you don’t!!

  • LOoky

    Old folks what you gonna do ? The old I thought it was the brakes but it was the gas excuse !

  • Steve

    You pukes will be old one day . But maybe not. You more than likely text and drive, drink and drive.

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