The police say the driver of a car that crashed into a house in Lower Hutt on Friday night was just 16 years old and had only a learner's licence.
Two men were hurt, one seriously, and three passengers fled the scene after their vehicle failed to take a corner and ploughed into a brick house in the suburb of Naenae.
Mary Boyle was alone in the house at the time when she heard tyres screeching, and a huge crash. It felt like an earthquake, she says, but luckily she was unharmed.
She says her granddaughter Caitlin, aged five, sometimes stays in the room where the car hit, but was not there at the time.
The police are waiting for the results of a blood alcohol test before deciding whether to lay charges against the driver.
The house was structurally damaged.