Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Change in plans keeps brother and sister safe when car plows into New Port Richey home


Domenic Crisafulli ran up Oak Ridge Avenue still in his clothes from track practice. He carried his house keys in one hand; in the other was his phone, which had been constantly buzzing Monday afternoon with friends wanting to know why emergency vehicles were parked in front of his house.

The 17-year-old stopped at the end of the driveway to see the gaping hole in the front of the house, 6014 Oak Ridge Ave. Sitting roughly where the family's refrigerator had been that morning, the trunk of a Honda Accord jutted through the kitchen wall.

Amanda, his 15-year-old sister, was supposed to be home, but he saw her standing safely in a neighbor's yard. They ran to each other and hugged. She told him what happened.

Amanda usually takes the bus home from Gulf High School where she is a freshman, but Monday she decided to walk with a friend. She was walking along Louisiana Avenue when she saw the silver Accord heading west across the road's double center lines to pass a black Hyundai.

Tiffany Small, Natasha Pearson and her 3-year-old daughter, Shayla Hernandez, were in the Hyundai when they saw the Accord trying to pass. Pearson said Small sped up when she saw the other car trying to make an illegal pass. The Accord swerved into their lane. Small swerved to get away, sending the Hyundai onto the road's shoulder where it narrowly missed a telephone pole and instead hit its guide wire.

"That lady was wrong," Pearson, 23, said. "She was real wrong."

The other car, driven by Makeda Hyde, 34, overcorrected, hopped a curb, slid over a patch of grass and across Oak Ridge Avenue, according to police.

Amanda saw the car disappear behind a row of apartments then heard the crash. She walked further and saw where it barreled into her home. She said Hyde was sitting in a lawn chair in the driveway, having apparently emerged from the wreckage.

Amanda ran to a neighbor's house and called her father at work.

Twenty minutes of study hall before track practice kept Domenic, a senior at Gulf High, out of the house Monday afternoon. Otherwise, he said, he likely would have been looking in the fridge for an after-school snack when the Accord barreled through.

Police said both drivers would be charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor. Hyde was not available for comment. Police did not immediately know the extent of her injuries.

Domenic and Amanda stood at the fence in front of their house and watched as a tow truck crept down the driveway to fish the car out of their house.

"I'm just grateful that she's fine," he said.

Contact Alex Orlando at or (727) 869-6247.

Change in plans keeps brother and sister safe when car plows into New Port Richey home 03/03/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 3, 2014 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies


    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.