DUI suspect crashes car into St. Pete house

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A St. Petersburg family got the shock of their lives when a car slammed into their home on Saturday morning.

Pastor John Stancil was inside the home located on 17th Avenue North when he saw the car crash into his bedroom.

“The whole room just filled with noise, and dust and debris so it was kind of the craziest wake-up call I’ve ever had, ” said Stancil. “Got out of bed, got my wife, tried to call 911 immediately. The noise and the confusion, the horn all of that going off the dust, the debris. And we couldn’t really get around the bed everything around the bed was concrete and furniture.”

Police believe the driver, Elaine Ribeiro, 40, was under the influence of a chemical or controlled substance. She reportedly refused a urine test and would not perform field sobriety tests.

Ribeiro recently lost her daughter in a car accident, News Channel 8 has learned.

“We just feel terrible for her that this tragic event in her life has caused her to turn to a substance of some kind and so she was arrested and we’re just hoping and praying that this wakes her up a little bit and gets some help for her as well,” said Pastor Stancil.

Ribeiro was arrested for driving under the influence. She was taken to the Pinellas County Jail where she’s being held on a $500 bond.

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