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    Driver hits home of her ex-boyfriend

    By AMY WIMMER, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published May 5, 2002

    DUNEDIN -- John Smith was in his bedroom Saturday playing guitar when he heard a loud crackle of snapping tree branches. Through the window, he saw his ex-girlfriend's 1983 Chevrolet van careening through the yard toward his house.

    "I didn't really have anywhere to go," Smith said, "so I jumped on the bed."

    An instant later, the van crashed into the home. No one was hurt.

    "I'm like, "What are you doing?"' Smith recalled telling Rhonda Campbell, 29. "You just drove your car through my house."'

    Sheriff's Office spokesman Cal Dennie said Campbell had lost control before plowing into the home at 559 Richmond St. in Dunedin.

    "She went across the grass in one yard and hit a curb, then came off that grass embankment and went across another curb and went up on the lawn," Dennie said. "Eventually she went up under a tree before hitting the house."

    Campbell was arrested minutes after the 1:30 p.m. crash and charged with driving under the influence.

    Dunedin fire and building officials examined the house and decided not to condemn it, despite the considerable damage, said Dunedin Fire Rescue Lt. Chris Thomas.

    The house is home to Smith, 38, his girlfriend Stacia Buck, 32, and their 17-month-old daughter, Heather.

    Campbell, of 7349 Ulmerton Road, apartment 118, in Largo, was not injured. Neither was her boyfriend, Steve Smith, 33, who had been asleep in the back of the van.

    John Smith is not related to Campbell's current boyfriend.

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