BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island mother is accused of drunkenly driving a car with her three children inside and crashing into a house, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported Monday.
The wild crash was caught on camera.
You could hear screeching tires followed by the panicked screams of children as the SUV they were in smashed into the side of a home in Brentwood.
The driver, Ashley Thomas-Smith, 34, was the children’s intoxicated mother, according to police.
“When I opened the camera in my phone to see, I just saw that the whole kitchen was down,” said Angelica Reyes, who owns the damaged house
Reyes and her family were at a friend’s house Sunday afternoon when their Nest camera detected movement on their driveway off Blue Jay Drive.
She opened the app, saw the aftermath of debris scattered across their lawn and rushed home to find her kitchen obliterated. The silver Lincoln Navigator was lodged in her kitchen with the driver and young passengers inside.
“She was stuck in the car for an hour because the fridge was stuck on her door,” Reyes said.
Police said Thomas-Smith was driving under the influence with her three daughters – ages 4, 5 and 8 – in the backseat.
Luckily, they all walked away with minor or no injuries.
Neighbors, who helped pull the driver’s daughters to safety were relieved.
Reyes, who just opened a daycare inside her home before the pandemic, is now forced to close, again. But, she said she’s feeling grateful and overcome with emotion, thinking about what could have happened had children been inside her home at the time.
“I’m just glad that we weren’t here,” she said.
Reyes added her three children, including her 2-month-old, often gather in that part of their house.
Thomas-Smith covered her face as she left her arraignment Monday and offered a muffled apology to Reyes’ family.
“God bless the kids. God bless the newborn and I apologize about the kids,” Thomas-Smith said.
Reyes had strong words for her.
“When you drunk, you don’t drive, especially when you have your kids in the car. That’s terrible. I don’t even know what was passing in her mind,” Reyes said to Fan.
Meantime, the Reyes family will need a temporary place to stay since their home was deemed unsafe to live in.
Thomas-Smith faces several charges including driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of children.
CBS2 learned Thomas-Smith pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on her own recognizance with an alcohol monitoring bracelet. She is due back in court later this week.
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