GREENWOOD, Ind. — A family in Greenwood has been left to pick up the pieces after a hit-and-run driver crashed into their home.
“I was startled awake, but I wasn’t really sure why I had woken up. I thought it was maybe thunder,” said Laura Dalton.
It was just before 4:30 a.m. on the morning of October 27 when residents of nearby homes were also jolted awake by a loud noise and looked outside to see what had happened. According to Laura, it was their neighbors who tried to check on them and called 911.
“I started to hear some noises outside, so I got up to see what was going on, and I saw emergency lights in the window and I heard pounding at the door,” said Laura.
That noise was firefighters with the Greenwood Fire Department arriving at their home on Georgetown Road. It wasn’t until then that Laura and Cody Dalton had any idea what had happened.
“The fire department said ‘someone drove into your house and fled the scene,'” said Laura.
The couple said they were shocked by what happened, but it wasn’t until the sun came up, where they could see the true scope of the damage.
“I hadn’t seen this whole side of the house yet until the sun came up and I came out here and then it was just a shock; the overwhelming amount of damage that there was,” said Laura.
“You just start thinking about, is everybody okay,” said Cody.
Family said the at least one neighbor saw the truck driving away from the scene and there was also debris left behind by the hit-and-run driver with identifying information about the vehicle.
According to the Greenwood Police Department, investigators believe they’re looking for a bright red Ford pickup truck between the year of 1998 and 2004.
“Accidents happen. Things happen all the time that are unexpected that you don’t plan for, but afterwards you have to clean up the mess, be it physically or metaphorically,” said Laura.
Tire tracks helped tell a story of how the driver likely ended up in their yard.
“That morning that it happened it was really frosty out, so you could see the tracks obviously come from Plymouth Rock Way,” said Cody. “Their comment was like; I can’t believe they missed the fire hydrant and the stop sign and the mailbox. I mean, it was a perfect straight shot down Plymouth Rock Way, through the corner yard and down into ours.”
You can see tire tracks appear to make a sharp turn on the family’s lawn before the suspected hit-and-run driver struck the garage.
Just feet from where everything happened are the two bedrooms Laura and Cody’s children were sleeping in. Fortunately everyone in the home escaped without injury, but the thought of how serious this could have been, has brought with it mixed emotions for both parents.
“Initially, scared and grateful that they were able to turn so that our kids were okay,” said Laura. “Then as time went on, anger. Really angry that they did this and then drove away.”
“Accidents happen but you don’t just leave. They didn’t check to make sure that we were okay. It could’ve been so much worse. That’s been very emotional,” said Laura.
In addition to the damage to the exterior of the home, including the garage door and walls, there was a significant path of debris left behind after the driver took off. The wall in their kitchen was also damaged by the impact.
“That’s the number one thing we hear when people see the damage is, how is it possible someone drove away? I don’t know the answer. I just know that they did. They drove away far enough that they haven’t been found yet,” said Laura.
Both of the family’s vehicles sustained damage, but one of the cars in particular fared much better than the other. Their SUV was scratched after the garage door collapsed on it from the crash.
It’s not clear just yet if their sedan is totaled; the family is awaiting word from an insurance adjuster while they drive a rental car in the meantime.
“It’s interesting answering questions from insurance like, ‘was everybody wearing a seatbelt in the car?’ Well, nobody was in the car. The car was in the garage parked. We were doing what we were supposed to,” said Cody.
The couple said the entire situation has been taxing, especially since paying for many of the damages requires money up front, even if insurance does reimburse at some point.
“It’s been a hardship financially. It’s been a hardship emotionally and physically cleaning up the mess,” said Laura.
They hope anyone with information will find it in their heart to do the right thing and come forward.
“I know I would feel terrible, so I know whoever did it, that has to be on them, too,” said Cody. “If anything, coming forward would hopefully give them some relief, too.”
While several neighbors had home surveillance cameras and have been offering to help in any way, Laura and Cody said none of the angles caught the camera. Their camera in their garage also became disconnected when the crash happened, they said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Greenwood Police Department tip line at (317) 865-0300 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana, where you can remain anonymous, by calling (317) 262-TIPS (8477).