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Truck crashes into two homes then drives off

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

A heavy blue tarp can be seen from a distance, but a closer look at the house on Boone Avenue, in Winchester, shows tread marks leading up a hill to the home where a pickup went crashing through the front window.

"We live on top of a hill, so you really don't think about things like this happening," admitted Scott Werkmeister, who lives next door and came outside early Sunday morning to see the driver backing into his house and trying to drive away.

"He bumped into our house twice, and I realized he was more concerned about getting away," described Werkmeister, who says in that moment he went inside to call police.

When he returned the truck was gone.

The truck may be gone, but in the daylight outside the massive tarp-covered hole, lay many reminders of the crash: pieces of vinyl siding and insulation are scattered around the yard, and even the vanity plate from the truck.

"Yeah there's some pretty big ruts in the yard where I believe he [the driver] took off," added Werkmeister, who wondered if the truck didn't go airborne after hitting the steep hill in his front yard.

Werkmeister said there was snow on the ground and tread marks all around, except for the gap between the hill and his neighbor's home.

"It was a tremendous accident, and it could've been a lot worse," said Captain Harvey Craycraft of the Winchester Police Department.

Police caught the driver, Larry Donald of Georgetown, just a few blocks away and with debris all over his truck. He was charged with eight counts of wanton endangerment, one for every person inside the home. He was also charged with driving under the influence, after giving police a breath-alcohol-content of .214.

"He's approaching three times the legal limit," pointed out Captain Craycraft, "that's pretty serious."

Donald was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failing to maintain insurance.

The family inside the home could not comment, but say they heard a loud smash and immediately got everyone out of the house and at a safe distance.

Now Werkmeister, and his neighbors, are left picking up the pieces, but thankful to be alive and unhurt.

"Things can be fixed, lives can't," said Werkmeister.

The driver, Larry Donald, has since been released from the Clark County Detention Center.

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