Police arrest UF student after crashing his car into house


Virginia Hoyt, 73, stands in the bedroom of her northwest Gainesville home Friday. Hoyt was awoken at 4:15 a.m. Friday by a car crashing into her bedroom.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 12:08 a.m.

When Virginia Hoyt woke up Friday, a concrete block was on one side of her bed and a car headlight was underneath it.

Hoyt wasn't injured but agrees she was lucky that only the wall of her bedroom was damaged when a car smashed through the side of her northwest Gainesville home at about 4 a.m. The 73-year-old was in bed when a motorist drove straight across her home's yard, taking out a mailbox and a bush.

"There was a hole with the headlight shining in my bedroom," said Hoyt. "My bed was covered with small pieces of plaster. This old cat just gave up one of her nine lives."

Gainesville Police arrested Kyle C. Nelson, 20, for driving under the influence with property damage and possession of drug paraphernalia, said Sgt. Steve Baker.

Hoyt's home is located at 4361 NW 19th St., at a point where an intersection forms a "T." Nelson had been heading east on NW 43rd Place when he didn't stop at a stop sign at the intersection, police reported. The vehicle went off the pavement and then struck the concrete-block home, knocking a hole in the structure, according to a police report.

Nelson provided a breath sample that showed a blood-alcohol level of .20, police reported. Under state law, a reading of .08 establishes a case of driving under the influence.

Officers also said Nelson was unsteady on his feet, failed field sobriety tests, smelled of an alcoholic beverage and was missing one shoe.

He later told officers he had been drinking shots and had left his shoe at a friend's home.

Police found a marijuana pipe in the car Nelson had been driving, Baker said.

Officers took Nelson, who is listed as a University of Florida student, to the Alachua County jail, where he was being held without bond Friday afternoon.

Hoyt has lived in her home for more than 40 years. It used to be surrounded by woods, but with new construction and roads she said she's always been afraid someone would come down the street, miss the stop sign and drive into her driveway and vehicle.

"It finally happened, only he took a different course," she said.

Family and friends helped Hoyt clean up the damage and repairs are expected to begin on the building next week.

Lise Fisher can be reached at 352-374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com.

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