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Teenage driver slams into New Port Richey garage

NEW PORT RICHEY — Philip Leddon didn't hear it. But the 85-year-old World War II veteran doesn't hear that well, anyway. His daughter got him up.

"Dad! Dad!" she screamed.

It was nearly 2 a.m. Friday. Donna Leddon, 60, had been on the computer when she heard squealing outside their Glissade Drive home in Beacon Square.

"Screeching and then … boom," she said.

She doesn't open the door at night for fear of unsavory criminals, so she roused her father.

"The dog was barking like hell," Leddon said of his other daughter's Yorkshire-poodle mix named Chloe.

He went out just as "the circus" of sirens arrived.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a teenage driver lost control of her car, careened off the road onto front lawns, swiped Leddon's silver Dodge Neon parked in his driveway, uprooted a small pine tree and then crashed into Leddon's neighbor's garage at 4232 Glissade Drive.

No one was injured.

The crash caused thousands of dollars in damage; the garage door buckled and the cement wall blocks crumbled on a corner of the garage.

The 17-year-old driver was cited for careless driving, said Sgt. Larry Kraus, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol. Authorities did not release her name Friday.

Bay News 9 reported that troopers found eggs in the back of the girl's car. They said she and her passenger planned to hurl them at an ex-boyfriend's vehicle.

Kraus could not verify that Friday.

Leddon — who said he never caused much mayhem on his horse and buggy when he was a teenager growing up in Pennsylvania during the Great Depression — said the two girls from the car kept crying after the accident. He spoke with his neighbors, a couple in their 60s, both retired, the husband has health issues. They were just thankful to be alive, Leddon said.

Leddon wasn't upset that his rear bumper was chipped and dented. He said if the driver hadn't glanced off his car, she would have plowed into his neighbor's bedroom instead of veering toward the garage.

"They were lucky," Leddon said of his neighbors.

Times staff writer Katie Sanders contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6229.

Teenage driver slams into New Port Richey garage 03/05/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 5, 2010 8:38pm]
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