BY THE PACKET
Columbus Police were dispatched to the corner of 19th Street and 7th Avenue around 2:45 a.m. Sunday morning after several residents called to complain about a loud crash in the neighborhood. Officers James Hanson and Rhonda Sanders arrived on scene to discover a black 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe pinned up against a pink building located at 702 19th Street North. The front passenger side tire was leaning against the front bumper, apparently having been dislodged from the car at the control arm. Upon further examination, the officers noticed a trail of destruction beginning nearly 100 feet from the scene, with debris thrown all over the road and adjacent sidewalk.
The large SUV appeared to have left 7th Avenue North via the northern curb, first hitting a Columbus Light and Water utility pole, where it is believed the tire was first dislodged. A large chunk of concrete and a deep scrape mark on the blacktop marked the spot where the driver seemed to regain control. The vehicle then left the road again and decimated a chain link fence and then rammed into a cinder block building on the nearby corner.
Officers quickly searched the area for the driver, but determined the suspect had escaped.The pungent stench of grain alcohol allegedly surrounded the driver’s cabin, and a convenience store cup – believed to still contain a sips worth of an adult beverage- could be seen nearby on the sidewalk, with ice cubes still intact.
Attempts to reach the owner of the vehicle, identified by Columbus Police as Lillie Williams, were unsuccessful. Williams did, however, report the SUV stolen about seven hours later.