PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - A joyriding teenager may have hit the gas instead of the brake, sending his SUV plowing into a Port Richey house.
The accident happened just after noon along Bimini Drive. According to FHP troopers, the 17-year-old driver – who only has a learner’s permit – took his mom’s Ford Explorer without permission.
The young driver failed to stop for the stop sign at Candlewick Lane, then slammed into a home near the intersection. The SUV came to rest well inside the garage, apparently avoiding a car parked in the driveway but heavily damaging the structure.
Paul Fellows Jr. was the only one in the Bimini Drive home at the time of the accident.
"It just sounded like and explosion, it was deafening, completely disorienting me," Fellows said.
Paul's first call was to his father, Paul Fellows Sr.
"What I saw was just unbelievable," said the father. "I've been referred to as a helicopter parent because I'm all over my kids, but you know what? If there was a little more helicopter parents in the world, we'd have a little less cars through garages."
The teen driver initially claimed that the “accelerator locked up,” but later backed off of that claim.
“When questioned, the driver…stated he may have pressed the gas instead of the brake,” the investigating trooper noted on the accident report. “I conducted a test of the brakes, they were functional.”
The teen was cited for several infractions, including reckless driving.
The Fellow's home is unlivable for now, but Paul Sr. is just thankful his son is allright.
"It wasn't until after the fact you start thinking about what could have been."