Crystal Leija likes her drinks like she likes her bad decisions: doubled. After drunkenly driving through John Rauchbauer's home she was ballsy/intoxicated enough to ask John Rauchbauer for $1,000 to help him find the kids she just mowed down with her Honda Accord. Only in Florida.
All this happened Saturday morning after Leija left a Port Richey bowling alley after apparently having a few too many. While leaving the parking lot she crashed into a car, proceeding down the road through a few fences and mailboxes, before plowing through Rauchbauer's house at the end of a street.
"I thought it was a tornado," Rauchbauer told reporters. "I thought maybe with all the speculation of the end of the world, I thought a lot of things. And then I saw the tail-lights on the car."
Rauchbauer and his wife were asleep in one room, his brother-in-law was on an air mattress in the living room, and two kids were asleep in another bedroom. Leija hit all of them.
Somehow aware she'd just crashed though a house with kids, Leija said "If you give me $1,000, I'll help you find your kids."
At this point Rauchbauer, experiencing a mixture of rage and shock, told her to "Get back in the ... car." You can insert whatever expletive you can imagine in there.
His ten-year-old boy was fine, but there was no sign of four-year-old Hayden at first. Eventually, Hayden crawled out from the debris. His bed had been pulled into the backyard but he was uninjured. Only the brother-in-law needed stitches for some minor injuries.
Leija was charged with: DUI causing serious bodily injury, DUI causing personal injury, DUI causing damage to property or person (the house was destroyed), and leaving the scene of an accident. The Rauchbauers work in a local restaurant and were renting the house. The Red Cross paid for a hotel through Tuesday, giving the family just a couple of days to find a new home and move the belongings that weren't destroyed.
(Hat tip to McMike!)
Photos: Bay News 9