Car careens into House of Compassion garden

Recently-built garden boxes were scarred by car tires early Thursday morning as a driver failed to make a corner turn at the intersection of West Church Street and Third Street while trying to evade police, according to officials.

Marshalltown Police Captain Brian Batterson said an officer made a traffic stop in the area around 1 a.m. Thursday for an equipment violation. He said the driver, an unnamed juvenile, led the officer on a short chase.

“When the driver tried to turn the corner there at Third Street and Church, they couldn’t navigate the corner,” Batterson said.

The car wound up going through a large portion of the House of Compassion garden, located across Third Street from the main House of Compassion building.

Batterson described the car as a normal-sized vehicle. The juvenile driver is in detention and faces traffic charges. An adult passenger, Christopher Goodman, 26, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and is now being held at Marshall County Jail.

T-R PHOTO BY EMILY BARSKE - Garden boxes sit splintered after a driver went off the road and tore up the area.

House of Compassion Director March Runner said the accident at the garden undid a lot of good work. Volunteers recently constructed garden boxes for the plants to grow within.

“We had teams of volunteers working out here putting it together,” she said. “Some of the wood can be saved, some of it’s splintered and is just lost. Some of the boxes have to be totally remade.”

Runner said the House of Compassion will make every effort to get the garden re-planted. This spring’s incident follows last year’s unfavorable planting season weather.

“The weather was against us last year, and it seems like a car was against us this year,” she said.


Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or