“...HIGH DRIVER CRASHES INTO HOUSE...THREE TIMES...WITH TWO DIFFERENT VEHICLES,” the California Highway Patrol’s Marin-area office writes on its Facebook wall before continuing: “The details of the call were so strange that we started our response not really knowing exactly what had just happened.” Buckle up for an absolutely absurd story.
Jalopnik’s tips line just received from a random reader an email with“double whammy . . . literally!” in the subject line, and nothing but a link to the CHP-Marin Facebook page in the body. After clicking that and being relieved that it actually took me to the CHP page and not to some strange pornography site, I read what has to be the most absurd crime story I’d seen in a long time.
It all begins roughy a half an hour north of San Francisco in San Rafael, sometime before 3 A.M. As CHP-Marin puts it, someone apparently under the influence of something drove a Ford Mustang into a fence, and then tried driving away, only to crash into a house.
From what we’ve been able to gather, sometime around 2:45 an extremely impaired individual drove his yellow Mustang off of Idylberry and into a fence near a home. Realizing his predicament he tried to remove his vehicle from the crash before anybody was the wiser but failed to realize it was still in drive. The Mustang traveled through the fence and into the home of the resident.
That’s when the person living in the house, deciding that the Mustang driver should not be driving, took away the keys. Keen to escape, the out-of-it motorist then allegedly stole the resident’s Toyota Rav4. From the CHP:
Awoken by the sound of their house being crashed into, a resident of the house approached the driver to figure out what was going on. Realizing that the driver was clearly in no state to drive, the owner of the home took the keys from the vehicle and retreated back inside to notify authorities. Again, not wanting to be anywhere near the scene when the police showed up, the driver noticed the keys to the home owners car nearby and took them, intent on procuring a new get away vehicle.
From there, things get weirder. CHP-Marin says the man, who’d already crashed a car into a fence and then into a house after apparently failing to realize the vehicle was in drive, made the same mistake again. His obvious inability to operate an automobile led him to crash this second vehicle into the same home. That’s three crashes into the same home, if you include the fence. Here’s how the CHP tells it:
With a new plan for escape, the heavily impaired driver entered the Toyota, threw it in gear, and hit the gas. Unfortunately he had put the vehicle in drive instead of reverse and proceeded to again drive through the house, ultimately coming to rest right next to his already crashed Mustang.
Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out well for the resident whose house had been trashed, or for the driver. And probably not great for the cops who had to spend their early morning dealing with this nonsense. From the CHP:
The home owner exited the home and attempted to remove the keys from the vehicle, however the driver began striking him repeatedly in the face causing major injuries.
Marin County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were first on scene and detained the out of control driver as he was apparently still attempting to drive the vehicle, unaware there were no keys. CHP officers arrived shortly after and placed the driver under arrest for a multitude of crimes including DUI, battery and theft of a vehicle while other charges continue to be investigated.
This is a perfect example of why driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is so incredibly dangerous.
I called up Andrew Barclay, Officer with the California Highway Patrol to learn more. He told me his team doesn’t know much about the driver, since the man who piloted the 2001 Ford Mustang V6 (which had a donut as a front left tire) into a fence and then house was far too intoxicated to provide a statement. “You can’t begin to explain the mind of someone who was that impaired,” Barclay told me.
As for the resident, he was treated at the scene, though his injuries were significant. “The seriousness of the injuries definitely elevated it to a felony battery count,” the CHP officer told me.