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Teen passenger cut from car versus mobile home wreck

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IMMOKALEE, Fla. – A 17-year-old smashed his car into a mobile home, stopping just inches from a 5-year-old girl sitting on the couch Monday night, deputies said.

His 14-year-old passenger was pinned down and had to be cut out of the car, according to deputies.

The driver lost control of his car on Miraham Drive, running through a stop sign and crossing over Miraham Terrace before driving into Mario and Betsy Zarate’s home, deputies said.

The car came to a stop through and under the home, according to Immokalee Fire.

The homeowners were startled. Betsy Zarate went to check on their daughter.

“Just heard a tremble and everything just started falling off,” Betsy Zarate said. “I was just running to make sure my daughter was okay. I looked and there was a car in my house ”

Mario Zarate, who was outside building a shed, said he thought there was a natural disaster.

“I thought it was like an earthquake. I just ran and tried to give help to driver and then I saw other kid that was pinned,” he said. “I just heard them screaming — said he couldn’t feel his legs.”

Immokalee Fire responded to the wreck. The 14-year-old was stuck under the weight of the car, Fire Chief Paul Anderson said.

“(The) passenger was entrapped with most of the front of the vehicle on top of him. Only thing visible was from his shoulders up,” Anderson said.

Crews used a wench to remove the car from the mobile home then had to cut the 14-year-old passenger from the car. That teenager was sent to Lee Memorial Hospital as a trauma alert.

The 17-year-old quickly got out of the car and was sent to North Collier Hospital, according to Immokalee Fire. He was driving with a learner’s permit, according to deputies. Mario Zarate said he had seen the same car speeding around the neighborhood before the wreck.

“We were outside and I saw vehicle before about 30 minutes. They were racing,” he said.

Betsy Zarate said the driver was inches from taking her daughter’s life.

“If he would have drove a few inches farther left he could have killed my daughter,” Betsy Zarate said. “Only God knows why she wasn’t there at that moment.”