RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh police said a woman was startled by her dog, causing her to hit the accelerator instead of the brake and plow her vehicle into a home.
The driver crashed into the home’s dining room, where a two-year-old girl had been playing just a minute earlier.
The woman, who lives near Hanska Way, was traveling down the road with her dog when it slipped out of its harness, police said.
The dog then jumped in the driver’s lap, startling her.
Police said she hit the accelerator instead of the brake and hit mailboxes before slamming into a home on Hanska Way.
The driver and the dog are both OK, police said.
Katanta Hamidou was sleeping upstairs when the crash happened.
“I look down from upstairs, then I saw there’s a car inside. I’m like, what happened? I did not know what happened, really,” he said.
His son, Amani, was downstairs at the time watching TV.
He said, “At first I thought, ‘Was it an earthquake or something?’”
He rushed around to the front of the house to help the driver of the SUV.
The family has owned the home for 16 years. Nine people were living there.
“I had a house yesterday, and today I’m homeless. So, anything is possible,” said Hamidou. “That’s the most important thing. Everybody is OK. The lady that was driving the SUV, she’s OK. So, thank God, nobody got hurt.”
Building inspectors went to the house to assess its structural integrity. A crew was working Wednesday evening to prevent any additional damage to the home.
The woman was charged with failing to maintain her lane and failure to reduce speed, police said.
The Red Cross is assisting the family with three hotel rooms for the next two days. After that, Hamidou said he anticipates his homeowner’s insurance company will work them.