Three young children playing with a litter of kittens inside a Moreno Valley garage survived a brush with death Monday when a speeding SUV plowed through the wall — an impact so loud neighbors thought they'd heard a plane crash.
The children were inside the garage in the 23000 block of Via Montego playing with their cat, Vanilla, and her four kittens, when the 73-year-old driver suffered a medical emergency and hit the garage, damaging the door and wall, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said.
Sam Farha, who was getting ready to shower, recalled his wife's screams after the impact.
"My wife started screaming, 'My kids, my kids,' and that's when we came running," Farha said. "It was the 1-year-old, 2-year-old and 4-year-old that were playing in the garage."
Four-year-old Mohamed was knocked to the ground, but he and his brothers were uninjured.
"I'm surprised nothing happened to him," Farha said. "Thank God nothing happened to him."
The extent of the driver's injuries was not known.
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Witnesses recalled seeing the SUV sideswiping a car and hitting a couple of palm trees before it careened into the garage, which is attached to the house.
"I just heard a big crash and came out and found the driver in there," Michael Garcia said.
Neighbor Yvonne Odom, a registered nurse, ran to help the driver.
"He was confused," she said. "He didn't know what was going on."
The car hit the home with so much force it left it leaning on its foundation. The home was red-tagged.
All four kittens were found uninjured and hiding in the rubble. Their mother Vanilla ran off but returned unhurt.