Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Neighbor, friend rush to help when car crashes into Pasco home

NEW PORT RICHEY — Amanda Rothberg and her friend Carmen Garcia were watching a Lifetime movie about a car accident Tuesday afternoon when they heard a commotion outside.

"It sounded like a loud boom," Rothberg said.

Rothberg ran outside to see what happened. She saw a car with its front end rammed through the next-door neighbor's back wall.

"Did you call 911?" she asked as she ran inside.

Garcia, 45, a former paramedic and nurse, ran outside. Her training took over. She tried to use a cast on her arm to pull open the car door and get to the woman inside. But that didn't work. "I knew the Jaws of Life would be needed," she said.

She reached through the window and felt for a pulse. She got a faint one. The woman was breathing, but very shallowly.

"I told her Jesus loves you, God loves you. Stay with me," Garcia said. But the pulse faded. When rescue crews arrived a short time later, Garcia told the person in charge that she thought the woman was dead.

The driver, Janet Lucy Weiss, 66, of New Port Richey, died at the scene. It appeared Weiss "experienced a medical emergency" that caused her to lose control of her Mercury Grand Marquis and veer off the road, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

As crews tried to help Weiss, Garcia turned her attention to her neighbor, Don Evans. He lay trapped beneath his kitchen counter where the car smashed into his condo at 8551 Pilgrim Court, in the Viceroy Condominium complex, off Old County Road 54.

"I can't say enough about what a good job the 911 responders did," Garcia said.

Garcia and the rescue crews were able to free Evans, 70, who was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Evans, who has Parkinson's disease, suffered bruises on his back, and a bruised kidney. He is expected to be released in a few days.

"He's fighting to come home now," Garcia said. "He wants to make sure his cats are okay."

Evans and his wife, Michelle, have six cats. Garcia said she has lived next door about two years and described them as a nice couple. They visit often and help the neighborhood decorate for Christmas.

Rothberg, 31, who comforted Mrs. Evans while crews worked to free her husband, went inside later to make sure no cats were trapped.

"All the cats are accounted for," she said.

Neighbor, friend rush to help when car crashes into Pasco home 11/30/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 8:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Accident or murder? Jury soon to decide fate of Deandre Gilmore


    TAMPA — Deandre Gilmore has never disputed that it was a mistake to leave his girlfriend's 19-month-old daughter unattended in a bathtub on May 7, 2014.

    Tampa police Officer James Parsons testifies as a photograph of 19-month-old Myla Presley is displayed Tuesday at Deandre Gilmore's murder trial. The photo was taken before the girl's death. .[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  2. Deputies: Dunedin man had an arsenal and images of schools

    Public Safety

    Deputies executing a search on a Dunedin home on Wednesday expected to find signs that a 24-year-old resident was in possession of child pornography.

    Randall Winston Drake, 24, of Dunedin faces two charges of making a destructive device. He was released Thursday from Pinellas County jail after posting $20,000 bail. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Clearwater Police investigating Mexican girl's injury at Scientology headquarters

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Clearwater Police Department is investigating an incident in which a 17-year-old girl from Mexico suffered a head injury Sunday at the Church of Scientology's international spiritual headquarters.

    A 17-year-old girl is at Johns Hopkins All Childrens Hospital after being injured at the Church of Scientology's international spiritual headquartersin Clearwater. JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

  4. City Council approves $5 million for Clearwater Marine Aquarium expansion


    CLEARWATER — The City Council on Thursday approved contributing $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for its massive expansion project.

    Clearwater has agreed to contributed $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium 
's $66 million expansion project.. [ Clearwater Marine Aquarium] 

  5. Live blog: Some scuffles, shot fired, but otherwise calm after Richard Spencer speech at UF


    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    A Richard Spencer supporter is escorted by police along Hull Road outside of the Phillips Center after the white nationalist's speech on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017.