The terrifying crash of a silver BMW into a south San Jose home on an otherwise peaceful Wednesday afternoon has brought up horrifying memories for one mother, whose 20-year-old daughter was killed in a drag race more than three years ago.
Charlene Lennon of Milpitas told NBC Bay Area on Thursday that she wishes parents would teach their teens that cars are not toys.
"Cars are basically loaded guns," she said. "When you step on the gas, it's like pulling a trigger."
Her daughter, Alyson Snow, a former cheerleader at Leland High School in San Jose, was killed Oct. 22, 2009 when she was caught in the middle of an illegal street race on Branham Lane.
Though no one was killed on Wednesday when two BMWs driven by teenagers the similarities are too close for comfort for Lennon.
"I have been given a life sentence by losing my child," Lennon said.
A 40-year-old mother was sent to the hospital Wednesday about 4 p.m. after a silver BMW careened into her home on Leigh Avenue at Anne Way, just south of Leigh High School. On Thursday, San Jose police said the drivers - two 17-year-old boys - were arrested on charges of reckless driving.
The woman's husband told NBC Bay Area on Thursday morning that he believed his wife would recover. The couple's 9-year-old daughter, who was rescued by neighbors under a pile of rubble, escaped unscathed. A 4-year-old boy was in the backyard when it happened and he is OK.
Three teens in one of the BMWs were also taken to the hospital on Wednesday.
One witness told NBC Bay Area the cars were racing down Leigh Avenue prior to the crash. Another witness said they heard the crash followed by screaming from inside the home. Satchel Belansky said he saw the silver BMW racing with a red one and lose control, which is when it was struck by the red car and smashed into the house.
Police spokesman Albert Morales also said they believe both BMWs were traveling at a "high rate of speed."
Neighbors Stephanie Collins, a nurse, and Lou Soliz, a retired Palo Alto police officer, rushed inside to help and pulled the car roof off of the mother. They also found the 9-year-old daughter buried under rubble. Collins said the daughter was "curled up in the fetal position" and her mother's legs were "twisted up" behind her back.
It was a dangerous scene, Soliz said.
"The roof was caving in, it wasn't a good place to be," he said, adding that in general, the streets can be dangerous with kids driving around "in their $50,000 cars."
In Snow's case three years ago, the drivers were convicted of vehicular mansalughter. Emmanuel Pourmand, who was 21 at the time, was driving a gold Nissan at 76 mph and was racing Joseph Inocencio, who was 18 at the time, and was driving a black BMW at 91 mph, police reports stated. Their cars spun out of control on Branham Lane and Snow's Jetta got caught up in between.
Lennon, who still keeps track of her daughter's case, said Innocencio is out of custody after serving less than three years of a six-year prison sentence, and Pourmand is serving the rest of his 9-year term at Folsom State Prison.
"It's sad to think that our youth think that driving fast is cool," she said. "I am living proof that it is not cool."
NBC Bay Area's George Kiriyama, Lori Preuitt and Damian Trujillo contributed to this report.