Driver crashes into home, Phoenix resident recall the moment | Pages Da

Early Thursday morning, a driver crashed into two homes, causing serious damage, before taking off on foot.

PHOENIX — Katia Diaz has now experienced two near-death experiences while sitting in the comfort of her home.

“It’s like a dejavú that keeps repeating itself,” she told 12News Thursday.

Diaz and her seven-year-old niece were watching a movie in the living room of their home near 34th Avenue and Camelback Road when the two fell asleep. Shortly thereafter, they were awakened by a loud noise.

Around midnight, a car crashed into a city wall, causing extensive damage to her and her neighbor’s properties.

“All you hear is a car hitting my car and like an explosion and that’s when I shielded her with my body,” she said. “I heard her screaming, shaking, not knowing what was going on.”

The couch they slept on was moved from the front of the house to the middle of the living room. The front door was gone and the windows were broken.

Diaz and her niece were covered in broken glass and the floor was littered with debris and broken cinder blocks.

With no shoes on, Diaz hurried her niece to her parents’ room and walked out. There she saw damage all around and a truck on its side in the neighbor’s yard.

She called 911 and while on the phone with the dispatcher, she started hearing a pounding sound.

“For a moment I thought it was somebody under my car or something like that maybe they were being towed,” she said, before realizing the sound was coming from the overturned vehicle. “When I turned around, that’s when I see the guy get out of the car and run away from the scene.”

She told police the motorist, who was limping, walked away from the crash scene eastbound on Camelback before officers arrived. The police tried to find the driver but were unsuccessful.

Her neighbor’s house and two cars also sustained extensive damage.

They did not want to talk on camera but told 12News they were preparing for Thanksgiving when the crash happened. Due to the damage, the home is unsafe to live in and they are forced to look for a place to live.

Diaz’s family was allowed to stay but said they are unsure if they want to.

“Ten years ago, something like that [happened],” she said. “I was in the living room, too, and a car pulled up in the same spot.”

That time the car just smashed the window. The damage was much less than this time.

Their once beautiful living room is now unrecognizable. Wooden panels have replaced the front wall, door and window. Where once there was a living room set, a rug and a chest full of toys, now sits junk.

After escaping the near-death experiences, Diaz says she doesn’t feel safe at home.

“It’s scary but thankful no one was hurt,” she added.

Diaz’s family and her neighbor have created fundraisers to help them rebuild.

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