Driver falls asleep, crashes into home's garage

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A family woke up to a car crashing into their Haines City home after a driver fell asleep at the wheel Tuesday night.

The crash sounded like a bomb had gone off in the family's garage, on Lake Brown Drive.

“I went to wake up my uncle first because I didn’t know what it was. I was like somebody’s trying to break in the house,” said Helen Valentín. “I went to get him first and we went out here and that’s when we had seen the girl.”

Valentín said her aunt, uncle, and brothers were all home around 11 p.m. when an 18-year-old driver crashed into their garage. 

“When the cops came, they took her out and the car was stuck in there for a long time. It was hard to get it out,” she said. “It’s stressful because you know we have to worry about people coming in our house or like the rain because it rains a lot in Florida."

Police said the driver was on Polk City Road when she fell asleep and ran off the curve, taking out street signs and mailboxes. The family said it’s not the first time this has happened. 

“My neighbors had told me that. They were like, ‘Oh it’s not the first time this has happened. Three other cars have crashed into this house before,’” said Valentin.

No one was hurt inside the house, and the driver was not seriously injured. Despite the scary experience, Valentin said they are thankful it wasn’t worse.

“The girl’s parents came and apologized to us this morning. They were like ‘Oh, you don’t have to worry about anything. It’s going to be fixed,’” said Valentin. “It’s stressful, but I’m glad she’s okay and I’m glad we’re okay.”

Haines City police said the driver was checked out at the hospital and showed no signs of impairment. Detectives are still investigating the crash.