NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. - A Ford Explorer tore through several back yards at such speed, neighbors initially thought a plane had crashed.
The SUV's 23-year-old driver blew through a stop sign in a residential neighborhood in New Brighton, hopped a curb and then tore out a retaining wall, a back yard shed, a day care playground and a privacy fence, before landing wheels-in-the-water at the edge of a swimming pool.
"Car parts were hitting the neighbors' roofs. They woke up because they heard stuff hitting their roof," said Tessie Rodkewich who runs a day care out of her home.
The crash happened about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 10. Rodkewich shudders to think what might have happened had children been in her back yard.
"It was like a tornado came through," said Shirley Olander, who lives next door to Rodkewich and lost a nearly new $4,000 utility shed.
"It's in the dumpster," she said.
A new shed is already being constructed, paid for her homeowner's insurance and a $1,000 deductible.
Another neighbor suffered thousands of dollars of damage to his patio and pool.
Neighbors speculate the SUV was traveling at freeway speeds when it jumped the curb, though a police spokesman would not speculate and said no accident reconstruction was performed to determine the vehicle's speed.
The driver of the Explorer was taken to the hospital. New Brighton police are waiting for the results of blood alcohol tests taken at the hospital before deciding what citations to issue.
Neighbors say they've been told by police the driver had no insurance, a status a New Brighton police spokesman would neither confirm nor deny.
KARE 11 attempted to contact the driver. A roommate at his apartment said he was at work. A message to call was not returned.
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