- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 29, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 13-year-old girl who crashed into her neighbor’s Fairfax County town house early yesterday was talking on a cell phone when she put the vehicle into gear, neighbors said.

The resident, Cheryl Forever, said she was awoken at about 3 a.m. by what she thought was a burglar, then saw something far more unusual as she raced for her cell phone to call 911.

“I looked in the kitchen, and there was something,” Miss Forever, 43, said. “I found out later it was a truck.”

Firefighters arrived as she was telling a 911 operator: “There’s a car in my house.”

A Fairfax County police spokeswoman said investigators were trying to determine why the teen was behind the wheel of the sport utility vehicle and whether she was using a cell phone. No injuries were reported.

Miss Forever, who has rented in the Hybla Valley town house development for two years and lives there alone, had to escape through a second-story window because of the extensive damage to the front of the house, about 19 miles south of the District in the Alexandria area.

The teen and her mother live about a block away from the accident site, in the 8000 block of Buckman Court.

Miss Forever, who works for a printing company, said she doesn’t know the family but has accepted the mother’s apology.

“When somebody says they are sorry, what can you say?” she said. “I’m still trying to take it all in. … I just wish parents had better control of their children.”

Firefighters were able to shore up the house, but Miss Forever cannot live there for now. She said the wall inside the kitchen is pushed all the way to the next wall and that damage extends about 10 feet into the unit.

Lt. Richard Perez, a spokesman for the county police, said investigators will talk with the juvenile court system before deciding what action to take. WRC-TV Channel 4 reported that the girl is in the custody of her mother and that the vehicle, a GMC Denali, belongs to the mother’s boyfriend.

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