UPDATE: Family and Friends grieving tragic death of South Bend mom

SOUTH BEND, Ind. ---  Barbara Knapp, 57, and her dog were killed early Friday morning after a drunk driver plowed her car through the side of Knapp's home and into her living room.

The car crash happen around 1:30 a.m. at the corner of Twyckenham Drive and Corby Street. Police arrested 23-year old Erica McCaffery and charged her with OWI causing death.

Witnesses told police the driver involved in the crash had been drag-racing down the street with another car before losing control and hitting the house.

The mother of two, grandmother of two and dog lover is well known in the community for her work in TV sales and advertising. Many who  knew Knapp well say she will be sorely missed, while others say they are still trying to wrap their head around what happened. 

Police say Knapp was on the couch in her living room with one of her two dogs, who she had rescued from a shelter, when suddenly a car came barreling through the side of her house.


"I was just in shock, it's just terrible. You feel like you should be safe in your own home and this is just such a tragedy," says Knapp's long time Linda Sieber.

Sieber has been friends with Knapp for 30 years and says she heard about what happen from Knapp's son, who reached out to her for help as he and his sister make arrangements to bury their mom.

"I'm there for them, whatever they need. I am there to support them. I knew those kids when they were born and they are just both in shock right now," said Sieber.

Investigators are still trying to piece together what caused the driver to lose control and slam into Knapp's house.

However, one thing police do know is that the driver of that car, 23-year-old Erica McCaffery, was driving drunk.

Close friends and family say Knapp's senseless death should serve as a reminder to everyone not to get behind the wheel of the car if they've been drinking.

"This didn't have to happen. It was just totally avoidable by someone getting behind the wheel and people forget an automobile is a deadly weapon," said Sieber.

Police say Knapp's second dog was found cowering under the bed, too frightened to come out after the car crash.

The dog was taken home by Knapp's son when the family came to the house to collect her things.

The family was notified to collect Knapp's things as soon as possible because the home is so unstable from the damage that the entire house will now have to be torn down next week.

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