COLUMBIA — Rhonda Victor had just left her living room couch when a 2012 Jeep SUV plowed into the southwest corner of her home at 1117 W. Ash St. early Wednesday morning.
If the Jeep had hit "five minutes earlier, she could have been in the mix," said Victor's son, Jason White, who was surveying the damage on Wednesday afternoon.
The Jeep that hit Victor's home was going at 63 mph when a Columbia Police officer spotted it on Ash Street. After trying to get the driver to stop the car with his lights and sirens, the officer "determined it would be unsafe to attempt to catch the vehicle," according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department.
By the time he found the car about 1:30 a.m., the driver had fled.
The debris-filled living room contrasted sharply with the pristine neatness of the right side of the house. Despite initial cleanup, the room was still jumbled with furniture in disarray.
Victor, 62, had just installed new siding and windows, White said. In the accident, she lost her great-grandmothers' library table and her entertainment center, but a hutch full of white china was intact.
Kelley Klean Restoration Co. was called to the residence at about 4 a.m. to start picking up the pieces.
Victor should be able to return to her home in about a week and a half, said Bill Owens, production manager of Kelley Klean. It will take at least two weeks to get the house repaired at a cost of up to $15,000.
As of 3:45 p.m., the driver was still at large. Traffic Sgt. Curtis Perkins said the Jeep was rented.