Santa Rosa boy talks about frightening four-wheeled wake-up call
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KTVU) -- An 11-year-old Santa Rosa boy talked to KTVU Tuesday about the shock he felt early Monday morning when he awoke in his closet after a truck plowed through the wall of his bedroom and into his bed.
Though the evidence of what happened was clearly visible amid the rubble strewn across his room, 11-year-old Liam Fitzsimmons doesn't remember a truck barreling through his bedroom wall.
"I was sound asleep. It was like four o'clock in the morning." explained Liam. "And all of a sudden I woke up in my closet."
A GMC truck crashed through his bedroom wall, threw him across the room, and through his closet door. You can still see the imprint of his body in what is left of the door.
"I think my shoulder went through and then I hit my head," said Liam. "I turned around and there was big headlights right there. I walked to the door and my Mom opened it."
Nicole Marlatt told KTVU the collision sounded like an explosion. She said she immediately reached for the phone to call 9-1-1 but couldn't believe her eyes when she saw Liam coming out of his room.
"I just thought that I was grateful he's alive, and that there was an angel, because the way the room looked, I thought there is no way he's walking out of the room" said Marlatt.
After neighbors told her that the driver had run from the scene, she called her husband who had left for work just minutes earlier.
Donald Marlette said he too had trouble believing Liam wasn't hurt.
"How can a truck go through his room and he be okay? I was pretty traumatized myself," admitted Donald Marlatt.
According to the Press Democrat, the driver is now behind bars and has been identified as 23-year-old Timothy Charles Bendana. Police told the paper that Bendana had also been operating a drug lab out of home just a couple of blocks away.
The family said they believe God and an angel were looking out for Liam on Monday.
"It was a power greater than ourselves, for sure" said his mom.
They say they hope people pray for both the driver and for their family
Liam is going to school as usual, but says sleeping is still a bit of a challenge.
A day later, Liam seems unfazed and easy going despite the accident. But his parents say the crash left its mark by taking away his sense of safety. They are determined to give it back
"We're going to do something to make him feel as safe as possible," his dad said.
Liam has one solution. He says when his room is all cleaned up, he wants his bed on the other side of the room.