by: Craig Lucie Updated:
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A lawn flooded with Christmas inflatables is turning heads in Brookhaven, and neighbors said it’s causing major traffic backups.
One neighbor used an iPhone to record a Tuesday evening crash just feet away from the display. Residents said Winall Down Road and Peachtree Dunwoody Road is already a dangerous intersection, but with all of the distracting decorations, some think the inflatables played a role in the crash.
Atlanta police also said Christmas decorations were the cause of the two-to-three car crash, but the homeowner said it was caused by someone trying to make a quick turn into a park across the street.
“Cars always stop here. It’s kind of a traffic nightmare believe it or not,” a neighbor told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie off-camera.
On Thursday, Lucie noticed dozens of cars slowing down, and some people left their cars to take pictures. When he asked them about the neighbor’s complaints, some of them pointed at the inflatable Grinch.
“I don’t see traffic congestion right now. I think it’s terrific. I think everybody should do something like this,” said Paul Hayes, who is in town from Pensacola, Fla. to visit family.
“I’m a Marine and never seen this before, and it’s hard to put a smile on a Marine’s face,” said Cpl. Anthony Acosta, who has served two tours in Afghanistan.
The homeowner, Dr. Gary Gropper, is a neurosurgeon at Piedmont Hospital. He started collecting inflatables eight years ago and never stopped. His son, Zach, told Lucie it’s his way of giving back.
“This brings a lot of joy to the community. When he’s not stitching up people in the hospital, he’s stitching up inflatables. We just hope everybody enjoys it,” said Zach Gropper.
And those who do enjoy the massive Christmas display can help newborns in foster care by donating to The Genesis Shelter.
“Last year, we raised about $4,000. This is a great place that brings a lot of cheer to people’s hearts for a great cause for The Genesis Shelter,” said Gropper.
Next year, the Groppers hope to raise more money for the shelter and by then, you may not even be able to see their home because they continue to buy more inflatables. Neighbors and the Groppers are also hoping the city installs flashing red lights by next Christmas at the intersection of Winall and Peachtree Dunwoody roads to make it safer.