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Sleeping Woman Dies after Car Crashes into Home

Moreno Valley, California (KTLA) -- A female resident was killed when a vehicle crashed into a Moreno Valley home and slammed into her while she was sleeping early Monday morning, authorities said.

Shortly before 5:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle into a residence in the 16000 block of Lake Victoria Drive, according to a statement from the Cal Fire / Riverside County Fire Department.

The first engine company to arrive found the victim beneath the under vehicle. She died instantly, first responders said.

Family members identified the victim as 47-year-old Sophia Zapien, who was the sister of the homeowner and lived at the residence.

“She was a wonderful young woman," said the victim's aunt, Rosie Sandoval. That’s how I remember her. I’ll always remember her that way.”

Zapien was sleeping in her bedroom when the vehicle slammed into the house.

“The window was right there and her bed was right next to the window," Sandoval said. "The impact was so hard that it threw everything against the door wall.”

She added, “I’m just hoping she was asleep and never woke up from her sleep.”

The car crashed into a room that appeared to be in the front of the two-story home, near the entrance and next to a garage, video from the scene showed. Most of the car -- a newer-model Ford Mustang GT -- ended up in the residence, with only the back portion sticking out amid clusters of debris that littered the front yard.

“The car was so deep in the house I couldn’t even see the car," said neighbor Sheryl Henry.

The vehicle's lone occupant, identified only as a male, was uninjured. He has been detained, according to a public information officer for the Moreno Valley Police Department, which is investigating the crash.

Neighbors told KTLA the vehicle was headed down Superior Avenue when, for reasons unknown, the driver failed to stop and ended up in the house.

“All I know is that he had just dropped off a co-worker and turned around and came back, and so they said he airborned and went up in the house," Henry said.

Authorities indicated that alcohol and drugs did not appear to be a factor. It was not immediately clear whether speed played a role.

Meanwhile, building and safety inspectors responded to the location to check out the structure, fire officials said. By mid-afternoon, repairs were being made on the damaged structure, video from the scene showed.