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Car crashes into sorority house in DeKalb

Published: Monday, April 1, 2013 9:56 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 1, 2013 12:06 p.m. CDT

DeKALB – A 22-year-old driver with a learner's permit mistook the gas pedal for the brake as she crashed through the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority house about 6:50 p.m. Sunday, police said.

Saileela Puppala was driving west about a block away from her home when she crashed into the house at 1019 Ridge Drive, DeKalb Police Commander John Petragallo said.

"When she hit the gas pedal, it caused her to leave the roadway and strike the house," Petragallo said. "There was no sign of alcohol use."

Her Toyota Solara went through the front of the home and struck the back wall, coming to rest inside the structure. Authorities found tire tracks across the inside flooring, indicating the wheels were turning and her foot was on the gas pedal after the car entered the house, Petragallo said.

No one was injured, including Puppala and her passenger, who had a valid driver's license, Petragallo said. None of the residents were displaced, although fire officials spent a few hours checking the structure and helping board it up, DeKalb Fire Chief Eric Hicks said.

Most of the residents had been away celebrating the Easter holiday when the crash happened, Hicks said.

Puppala was ticketed for alleged improper lane use, Petragallo said.

Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority representatives declined comment Monday morning.

• Daily Chronicle reporter Jeff Engelhardt contributed to this report.

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