Originally published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 11:53a.m.


Photos courtesy of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office

A 65-year-old Cottonwood woman sitting on a couch in her living room Monday night, April 15, suffered broken ribs when an out-of-control stolen car careened into a side wall of her home in the 6100 block of Mesa Drive, according to a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The driver of what deputies determined was a stolen gray Ford, identified as 26-year-old Wayne Area Jr., apparently missed a right turn onto East Mesa Drive soon after his step-father reported the stolen vehicle to the Sheriff’s Office. Area’s miscalculation led him to smash into a side wall of the then-occupied house. He then backed up before abandoning the damaged car on the street, according to the release. Deputies found Area after he collapsed a short ways away.

Area was also taken to the hospital for treatment, but was cleared for arrest with no significant injuries, the YCSO said. Deputies suspect Area may have been intoxicated, and are awaiting verification on his status.

One wall of the house was demolished, and the roof is now considered to be unstable, and so at this time is unable to be occupied, the Sheriff’s Office said. The YCSO arranged for security at the house while the homeowner is undergoing treatment for her injuries.

On Tuesday morning, the Sheriff’s Office’s Collision Investigation Team was on site along with Unisource, which turned off the gas. The Fire Department arrived to turn off all the electricity.

Arrest information for Area was not yet available.

The Yavapai County Developmental Services will be surveying the damage soon. The Red Cross was notified and will be providing services.