Driver crashes through house, charged with DWI
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A drunken driver plowed her Mercedes-Benz straight through a Huntington home early Monday, narrowly missing an elderly resident and her caretaker before coming to rest in the backyard, police said.
Sophia Anderson, 21, of Brooklyn, was driving the 2003 red Mercedes convertible, police said. After she was treated at Huntington Hospital for minor scratches and bruises, police arrested her on charges of driving while intoxicated. A male passenger was not injured and his name was not released.
Neighbors and first responders said they were floored by the close call -- the car barreled into the white ranch house on Southdown Road at 4:05 a.m., continued through the kitchen and ended up on the patio. The Mercedes uprooted a tree at the home and came to a stop with an open bag of sugar and a crushed box of pasta scattered around it.
"You think about what could have happened had that been the bedroom," said Suffolk police Deputy Insp. Mathew Lewis. "It's just a matter of the driver yanking the wheel to the left."
Anderson faces arraignment Tuesday. Attempts to reach her family were unsuccessful.
"They're lucky they walked out of there alive," Kimberley Steinberg, a neighbor, said of the car's occupants.
Steinberg was awakened by a "loud explosion," then "glass breaking and screaming."
"I thought someone had broken into her house," she said. "We were going to walk up to the house, but I thought: 'Not a safe idea.' A police officer went up the driveway and I heard him say: 'Is everyone out of the car?' 'Car?' we said. 'Car?' "
Police said Anderson was driving south on Browns Road, which ends at Southdown Road, right in front of the home that was struck. The area in front of the home contains a three-way intersection marked with stop signs.
"There didn't appear to be any attempt to brake or turn," Lewis said of the driver, adding the Mercedes was likely traveling at an "excessive" speed.
The car entered the home just to the right of its red front door. The bedrooms were just to the left of the door.
Inside were the 90-year-old woman and her live-in caretaker, police said. Their names were not released, though neighbors said the homeowner once owned a dress shop in Huntington.
Yesterday afternoon, the homeowner's granddaughter surveyed the damage as contractors stacked torn-out pieces of the home in the yard. The woman declined to comment, noting her grandmother and the caretaker were "very upset."
Meanwhile, Polly Hanson Greenberg, another neighbor, marveled at what was averted.
"The stove, the stove was in her backyard," she said of the damage. "These kids drove that car right through the house."
Huntington Fire Chief Ken Cochrane called the piles of rubble in the backyard "like nothing I've ever seen."
"It took everything in its path," he said of the Mercedes.