JUST hours after Judy Schneider buried her father, she almost lost her daughter, son-in-law and grand-daughter when a car driven by an L-plater careered into her Casino home.
Slowed only by a sturdy brick letterbox and a stack of tiles, the Ford Falcon sedan smashed into the corner of the guest bedroom where Mrs Schneider’s daughter, Kerran, and her husband, Justin, slept in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Kiara, their two-year-old daughter, was sleeping on a makeshift bed on the floor of the adjacent bedroom just metres away.
“We had the funeral earlier and my daughter and her husband were home from Adelaide, with the little baby,” Mrs Schneider said.
“We made her up a little bed on the floor.”
Exhausted after the emotion of her father’s funeral, Mrs Schneider fell into a deep sleep – only to be woken a little after 12.30am by the sound of the crash and her daughter’s scream.
“The impact of the car must have startled me out of my sleep,” she said.
“The letterbox got caught under the wheel.
“The car went into the corner and it’s pushed the wardrobe.”
Police were called to the chaotic scene at Gays Hill about 12.40am.
“There’d been a collision a short time earlier between a Ford Falcon sedan and a house at that location,” Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Inspector Greg Moore said.
“The house suffered significant structural damage.”
Insp Moore said a 16-year-old Casino boy was arrested at the scene and charged with mid-range PCA, negligent driving, and had his L-plate licence suspended.
“Police will be assessing whether factors such as speed were a contributing factor in the accident,” he said.
Driven by her Christian faith, Mrs Schneider said she forgave the teenager.
“I said to him: ‘You’ve got to have a really long, hard look at yourself. You could have killed my family’.
“I feel so sorry for his parents. I just hope that this young boy learns.
“He said ‘I’m sorry’ and I said ‘I forgive you’.”
Mrs Schneider said she and her husband were insured, but an engineer had told them the front bedroom wall would need to be completely replaced.
The 16-year-old driver was released on bail and ordered to appear in the Casino Children’s Court on December 9.
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