Police are investigating an accident which damaged more than a dozen vehicles at a Hyundai auto dealership.
Officer Traver Stefan says a 911 call came in around 1:38 a.m. last Wednesday. A witness reported seeing a driver lose control of his car on the Interstate 35 frontage road.
The car veered off the road and onto a grassy curb where it hit a light pole outside South Point Hyundai. The impact tore the light pole from its concrete base. The car then smashed into a row of vehicles at the dealership. Shards of glass and chunks of plastic and metal scattered across the lot.
Service and Parts Director Mark Marek of South Point Hyundai says 18 cars suffered damage. Nine were damaged severely.
“It’s pretty extensive. Several of the vehicles are brand new vehicles that are more than likely totaled. It rolled right across the top of them,” explained Officer Stefan.
“Some of the roofs are torn off. Other cars have battery acid on them. Some of the front ends are smashed in. So some of the damages are quite severe and some are just minor scratches,” added Marek.
One car was flipped on its side and landed upside down on top of another. Another vehicle nearly lost one of its doors when the light pole landed on top of it before skidding to a stop.
Witnesses told officers they watched the driver crawl out of his car and then run off. Police are still searching for him.
“As far as the extent of their injuries, we’re not sure. I guess they were able somehow, they were seen running from the scene. So they were at least, had it together enough to run out of here,” said Officer Stefan.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Officers who responded to the call say they found empty beer bottles still inside the car and more bottles on the ground around the car. The driver is facing several potential charges.
“Leaving the scene of [a] crash would certainly be a potential charge. It just depends on the tools detectives want to use to charge him with, again if it’s assigned to a detective unit and of course there’s the civil court route that the owners of the property are certainly entitled to,” explained Officer Stefan.
The damaged vehicles are being towed to the dealership’s sister facility, Point Collission, on Saint Elmo for evaluation.
“There will be a determination there as to what can be done with the cars, either fixed, or some of them will probably be totaled,” said Marek.