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Garden City Fiery Car Crash Takes Life Of David Rouse

by | Feb 15, 2017 | 911, Breaking News, County News, Cullman, Fires, Public Safety

Garden City Fiery Car Crash Takes Life Of David Rouse

Multiple emergency response agencies were called into the heart of the Town of Garden City Tuesday evening.

The reason for the response was due to a Cullman e-911 call indicating that an SUV had run through the gasoline pumps at the Garden City Chevron Station at high speeds. The vehicle impacted and leveled to the ground one set of gasoline pumps as it continued southbound along Highway 31.

Garden City Fiery Car Crash Takes Life Of David Rouse

After traveling approximately 1/2 mile, the SUV veered across the center median nearly impacting an oncoming northbound car.

After that near miss, the vehicle ten proceeded all the way across to the west side of Highway 31 where it took down road markers and commercial signage.

It then plunged through the metal exterior of Helms Custom Upholstery where it came to rest inside the commercial structure. The SUV subsequently caught fire inside the establishment. This created a fully involved automobile fire as well as an internal building fire.

Garden City Fiery Car Crash Takes Life Of David Rouse

Multiple firefighting units from Garden City Fire & Rescue and Hanceville Fire & Rescue rapidly arrived at the location. The blaze was fairly quickly extinguished in and around the car. The firefighting effort inside the building took additional time to finally subdue the flames.

The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office, Hanceville Police Department, Cullman Emergency Medical Services and the Blountsville Police Department were also active at the scene at various points during the incident.

Troopers from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency were on hand to conduct a complete investigation which is still ongoing.

It was later determined that the SUV contained one occupant. Tragically, that individual – David Rouse (32) – was pronounced dead at the scene by Cullman County Coroner Jeremy L. Kilpatrick.

Garden City Fiery Car Crash Takes Life Of David Rouse

Mr. Rouse remained inside the vehicle during the crash and subsequent fires. His driver’s license indicated a Falkville address, but he is believed to have been a resident nearby.

The circumstances that led to the accident are still unclear.

Fortunately, no injuries to bystanders or employees at the Chevron were reported. The automatic shut-off mechanism to the gasoline pumps functioned as designed which limited the amount of raw gasoline released from the pumps.

Helms Custom Upholstery sustained significant fire and water damage to the front portion of the large structure. There was major smoke damage throughout the building.

The public driveway portion of the Chevron was cordoned off with crime scene tape as a secondary investigation was conducted at that location.

The entire situation was large-scale in nature and grim for all parties involved. Prayers went out from both local residents gathered at the scene and from emergency responders alike.

In this interview with Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail, he explains what was known early on during this incident:

Images From The Scene

Garden City Fiery Car Crash Takes Life Of David Rouse

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Timothy Collins

Originally from Asheville, NC, Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at and/or (256) 615-8260.

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