Frame goes up on home for Florence County EMS worker injured in DUI crash

PAMPLICO, SC (WBTW) – The framing is going up on the house for Florence County EMS Worker Tessie Odom-Smith. The community continues to support the first responder who lost her leg as a result of a vehicle crash caused by an alleged drunk driver more than a year ago.

The construction on the home started in December when a number of volunteer businesses and co-workers broke ground on a 3-acre lot in Pamplico. Over the past few weeks, the Smith’s new home has made major progress, coming from just a concrete slab to actually looking like a home.

The majority of the work done was either donated or given at a generous discount.

“It’s been amazing,” says Tessie’s husband, Scott Smith. “Just the amount of people who have come out to give of their time, talents, money or just a call to say that they were thinking about us. To the people that call, it’s a five-minute conversation but to us it’s, hey they haven’t forgotten. That just means a lot to us.”

The family has been given donations and free labor for things like a water heater, and their new home will be completely ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant so it will be wide enough for Tessie to get around comfortably.

Howe Springs Fire Chief Billy Dillon says businesses within the community are making the home building process much easier.

“We broke ground in December. We’ve got some building supply companies on board to give us some discounts on our materials,” confirms Chief Dillon. “Some other companies have stepped forward and donated some building materials such as blocks and masonry and a lot of the contractors are doing free labor to try and help us save money.”

Contractors plan to have the home complete by the end of July.