PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Friends say 82-year old Millie Ferraro is the nicest woman you’d ever want to meet. Neighbor Eddie McGraw says she used to babysit for him when he was a boy.
"Sweet old lady, a do anything for anybody type of person," he said.
Saturday at 3 a.m., Millie was fast asleep in her bed, completely unaware there was a car on a collision course with her house.
Port St. Lucie police photos show the skid marks where the car veered off the road, went through Millie’s yard then into her house.
"It’s pretty bad," said McGraw. "The walls, the whole kitchen’s pushed to the back of the house. The side wall's all smashed off the foundation."
Millie was not hit. But the drive-through crash was so stressful her blood pressure spiked. She had to be rushed to the hospital.
"Normally she falls asleep on the couch watching TV and if she’d been there she probably would have been gone," said McGraw.
A neighbor says his surveillance camera spotted the car that hit Millie’s house making a quick getaway; then, minutes later, police arriving on scene.
Police tracked the car to a house on Estaugh Ave., a few miles away. They found it scraped and banged up.
Officers talked to the car’s owner, Kristin Butcher. She said someone must have stolen her car, that she knew nothing about it. Then police saw a friend of hers in the house, a gash bleeding from her forehead. She admitted she and Butcher were the ones behind the crash.
Police arrested Butcher for leaving the scene of a crash and giving false information. Millie’s family says Butcher returned to the house the next day to apologize for what happened, saying she’d fallen asleep at the wheel.
Eddie McGraw hopes this freak accident isn’t enough to scare his favorite neighbor away for good.
"It's sad," he said.
Millie's daughter, Maria Dragotta, said her mother remembers very little about what happened, but she is out of the hospital and recovering with family.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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