PALM BAY, Fla. — A family is sharing their story exclusively with Spectrum News 13 about the aftermath of a suspected drunk driver who drove into their home.
- Woman charged with DUI after crashing into Palm Bay home
- Barbara North & family, including veteran dad, forced out of home
- North's veteran dad is in hospice; his dying wish is to be surrounded by family at home
- More Brevard County headlines
Barbara North says it was a regular Friday night in her home in Palm Bay when all of a sudden she looked out her window and saw a car coming toward the Lamplighter Drive home while in their living room.
“Before I could even say watch out, there was a car in my house,” she said.
According to Palm Bay Police’s probable cause affidavit, 32-year-old Rebecca Coggeshall was arrested and charged with a DUI and DUI with property damage Friday night.
She says her three young children and husband have been living in a hotel for the past few days and her Vietnam veteran dad, who is in hospice, had to be put into a nursing home because the house is unlivable until the repairs are done.
North told Spectrum News 13 that her father’s dying wish is to be at home surrounded by family.
“We promised him, he would take his last breaths surrounded by family in his home,” North said
North explained that her son with autism is having a hard time adjusting to living in the hotel, and her young daughter is having crying outbursts because of the accident.
Even though the family has homeowners insurance and will get reimbursed for temporary housing at hotels, North says she lives paycheck to paycheck, and doesn't have the money to pay for hotels upfront while keeping up with the mortgage and car payments.
“We live paycheck to paycheck. We still have bills to pay. We can't stop paying our bills because someone decides to drive into our house,” she explained.
According to the police report from May 17, Coggeshall told police she didn't drink much alcohol, and the police who filed the report wrote that her speech was slurred at times.
But it's not the first time Rebecca's been arrested, according to police records. She was arrested in 2017 for domestic battery against her fiancé.
The report stated, “Rebecca had been drinking heavily and was very intoxicated”
Barbara says enough is enough, and is wondering what it is going to take for the suspect to realize she could have killed someone. She’s hoping Coggeshall realizes that her actions affected a family.
“I just hope she realizes, this one choice she made to drink and drive not only affects her but a lot of other people,” North added.
Rebecca’s bond was set to $500 for each charge. She bonded out and is now out of jail.
Our crews reached out to the suspect several times with no reply. We also stopped by her place of employment, and the staff tells Spectrum News she no longer works there.