Amateur demolition derby

Drunk + SUV = Chaos

A sorely inebriated man took the wheel of his SUV Sunday morning and proceeded on a rampage starting shortly before 4 a.m., inflicting serious damage to 15 parked cars before he crashed his mini-tank into a phone pole about 5:05 a.m. Somewhere along the way, the SUV lost a wheel, accounting for the shower of sparks callers reported from the careening vehicle as it battered its way along Russell and Wheeler streets.

We live on Wheeler St., just off of Russell. We noticed when we went out for breakfast Sunday morning that a car parked across the street from our house looked like it had been smashed into. Then we noticed that the car behind it was also smashed up in back and the car behind that looked like it had been sideswiped. We look down the street and see damage all the way down the block. At least half the cars on that side of the street looked like they had been either sideswiped or crashed straight into. There were broken taillight parts and side mirrors as far as the eye could see. There are also scratches in the asphalt where he drove not on the rim, but on his actual brake discs after losing his tire around the corner on Russell st.

A few neighbors were out at the time. I asked what happened and they told me the story quoted above. Everyone was just standing around looking amazed by all the damage. It looked like herd of dinosaurs had come down the street and laid waste to everything in their path.

Berkeley Unified School District spokesperson Mark Coplan, who lives on Wheeler near Ashby, said that after the car lost the wheel, "You could hear it from three blocks away. It was like a scraper going down the street."

After getting home from Patrick's party the night before, we had gone to bed a little after 3:00am. All this happened less than an hour later and, despite our bedroom window facing the street, we didn't hear a thing. Amazing what a great sleep aid a few drinks can be.

In a welcome break from my usual car luck lately, our car was parked on the other side of the street and was untouched.


choralone23 says:

ugh! i am glad my rental wasn't there at that time. i think the turn in guy was shocked that i didn't scratch the car the entire time. uhm, but that's because i couldn't park it ;).

thank you again for hanging out! i enjoyed my time down there!

babystrange says:

that is so awesome. i wish i could have seen it.

and here's to good car luck! may it be plentiful for us all!

kchrist says:

Christina: You would have been fine where you were parked, it was the other side of the street that was hit. I'm just glad I parked where I did when we got home that night.