Alleged drunk driver plows van into Phoenix home - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Alleged drunk driver plows van into Phoenix home

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Samuel Perez Samuel Perez
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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

It was a very rude awakening for one valley family Tuesday morning after the driver of a van plowed right into a house they rented just two weeks ago.  They say they're lucky to be alive.

Just on the other side of the police tape -- a scene out of a movie -- a horror film -- a nightmare for the family of three living inside the home near 14th Street and Northern.

"My mom heard an explosion of some sort.. we thought a metal pole of sort came down on us," said Michael Gutierrez.

It was around 2 a.m. when they heard it -- a van barreling into the family room.

Family member Troy Baker came over to help.  He described the aftermath as mayhem -- the dining room table pushed into the kitchen -- through a window, the van just feet away from a mattress.

"My cousin's bed is on the other side of this wall.  If it wasn't for this wall being an add-on, where it's an actual exterior of the house.. if it was an interior wall, she'd be dead right now," he said.

According to Phoenix Police and the tire tracks, the driver of the van was heading southbound on 14th Street.  Police say he hit a curb on the west side of the street, crossed over, hit a curb on the east side and went through the wall into the house.

"We have preliminary blood alcohol from the scene, indicating that more than two times the legal limit.. a little over 2.0.. 2.19," said Sgt. Trent Crump.

Police booked 44-year-old Samuel Perez into jail on charges of extreme DUI, several counts of endangerment and criminal damage.

"He was freaking out, saying he didn't want anyone.. he thought he had killed someone," said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez and his family wonder why the man decided to get behind the wheel.  As they assessed the damage, they felt grateful to be alive.

Perez was driving a work van.  Calls to the company have not been returned.

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