St. Petersburg, FL -- Ivanka Chotreva says she feels lucky to be alive. Less than 24 hours ago, a car plowed through her backyard fence, just inches from where she was doing yard-work.
The vehicle then crashed through an enclosure before plunging right into the family swimming pool.
St. Petersburg police have identified the driver as Michael Randolph. They say an accident at a nearby intersection sent Randolph's car careening toward the Chotreva family's back yard. First it took out the back yard fence belonging to Shannon Gierke, who had been standing outside with her 4-month-old son just minutes before.
The noise, was "crazy loud, " she says. "Ten minutes prior, we were standing here in the car port," Gierke adds.
Within moments of plowing his vehicle into the pool, Iva says Randolph got out of the car and was most concerned about what would happen to him. She says that in his words, he was worried about going to jail for DUI.
And that's what disappointed her the most; he was more worried about that than her safety.
"He didn't even ask, you know... I was right there, you know, down on the ground. I didn't know what was going on and he was just laughing," she said.
Ironically, the family's brand new pool was finished just one day earlier, and their 14-year-old daughter was inside getting ready to take a swim.
"I can't even imagine what would happen if she was in the pool," said Iva.
There was no answer at Randolph's house in St. Petersburg. Police charged him with careless driving, but according to the police report, he did not exhibit signs of intoxication and so therefore, was not tested for driving under the influence.
Witnesses say the car belonged to his girlfriend, who they hope had insurance. The Chotreva family, unfortunately, does not.
"You know I feel like I was safe in my back yard, but unfortunately, you're not safe anywhere," said Iva.