A Kaikohe woman thought an earthquake had struck when she heard a huge crash and her house shook so violently ornaments came crashing down off the walls.
But when June Bedggood looked outside she saw a car wedged under her badly damaged bedroom and a man running away as fast as his legs could carry him.
The only blessing was that she and her husband Kirk got up earlier than usual so they were having breakfast on the other side of the house when the out-of-control Holden Commodore hit.
The crash occurred about 7.15am on Wednesday when the Commodore was travelling at speed down De Merle St and failed to take the corner at the T-junction with Hongi St.
Instead it bowled a stop sign, demolished a fence and slammed into the pensioners' home.
''I was just cooking breakfast when the whole house shook and ornaments fell off the walls. I thought it was an earthquake,'' June Bedggood said.
''I went out the front and saw a car sticking out of the house and a guy hoofing across the lawn. I yelled at him, 'Stop! Look at the bloody mess you've made of my home'.''
He didn't stop, however, and Bedggood didn't give chase because her immediate concern was that the car could ignite and burn the house down. The house was filled with petrol fumes, she said.
Two fire appliances, three police cars and a crash investigator responded.
The impact took out three rows of piles, lifted the floor and broke a window. Fortunately the house, which was owned by their daughter, was insured.
It wasn't even the first time, Bedggood said.
In the 10 years they had lived on Hongi St the fence had been hit twice, the gate once and the power pole once.
She planned to call the council and ask for bollards in front of the house or speed bumps on De Merle St to slow traffic.
Sergeant Kevin Milne said police were following ''positive lines of inquiry'' to identify the two men seen running away. The vehicle had not been reported stolen.
Damage to the house, including foundations and a structural wall, was substantial so a building inspector was called out to make sure it was safe to remove the vehicle.
Milne said officers had spoken to several witnesses but were keen to hear from anyone else who saw the crash but had not yet spoken with police.
He also wanted to hear from the occupants of another car almost hit by the offending vehicle at the intersection of Harold Ave and Bisset Rd a few minutes earlier.
Phone the Kerikeri station on (09) 407 9211 and ask for Constable Ihaka Lenden or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.