Suspected DUI driver backs car into living room in Vacaville

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VACAVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) -- A suspected DUI driver backed her car into a Vacaville home early Wednesday morning, according to the Vacaville Police Department.

The accident happened on Riverdale Avenue after a New Year’s Eve celebration was winding down for the night.

Police said 28-year-old Ana Mendoza-Hernandez got into her Honda Civic and attempted a three-point turn, but she ended up smashing through a retaining wall and into Vanessa Cornwall-Chiu’s living room.

“At two in the morning, we just heard a very, very loud crash, an explosion,” said Cornwall-Chiu. “We’ve got two dogs and they love sleeping on the couches and just with divine intervention they were actually upstairs with us.”

Witnesses said Mendoza-Hernandez was still accelerating, even after the crash.

“The car was up there, backend of the car is pressed into the living room,” said witness James Repard. "I think she was still in shock."

“The car was redlining. I was like 'Someone is doing a burnout?'" said another witness.

“The driver was trying to take off so she was gunning it, so the house was filling with exhaust fumes,” said Cornwall-Chiu

Cornwall-Chiu, who is pregnant,  said she and her husband immediately called 911. Her 3-year-old daughter was also home at the time.

“When I was on the phone with 911, I started to have little Braxton Hicks contractions and I was like 'Not right now. I can’t be going into labor right now,'" Cornwall-Chiu said with a laugh.

Neighbors eventually got Mendoza-Hernandez to turn off her car. Soon after, Vacaville police officers arrived.

“The officers developed enough probable cause to believe that she was intoxicated and placed her under arrest,” said Vacaville Police Lt. David Kellis.

Cornwell-Chiu said her front yard and living room will have to be repaired. But she said she's not worried about that and instead counts her blessings nobody was seriously hurt.

“Everything that broke can be replaced, so I’m just grateful that she didn’t make it out to the main road and got in any kind of horrific accident where she could have killed someone,” said Cornwall-Chiu.


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