Drivers miss their markArea News
-- She couldn’t remember hitting a house.
By: Phil Pfuehler, Pierce County Herald
She couldn’t remember hitting a house.
At least that’s what River Falls police say she told them after they got her out of bed for questioning.
Another driver insisted he didn’t smash into a utility pole and that he wasn’t driving his own car. He ran away from the crash site and was found sitting under a tree.
Yet another driver went into a drainage ditch, got out to see what was going on, fell and badly injured his face and forehead.
All three in separate incidents were cited for drunk driving in the past week. In a fourth incident, an intoxicated driver warned not to drive allegedly did so anyway.
Katherine M. Terlinden, 35, 404 Kennedy St., allegedly hit a house just a block north of the shuttered River Falls Hotel while trying to turn onto East Johnson Street from South Main Street before 10 p.m. Saturday.
While the house at 1208 S. Main St. wasn’t severely damaged, the collision did knock pictures inside off walls.
Terlinden’s 1999 Ford Escort, leaking antifreeze from its radiator, apparently backed up, peeled away across the lawn and sped off on East Johnson.
Officers called to the scene followed the antifreeze trail to Terlinden’s address.
Her husband answered the door. He said his wife had gone to bed and asked if the investigation could wait.
It couldn’t, and when officers talked to Terlinden they said she seemed confused, admitted to drinking, was returning from Emma’s Bar downtown but couldn’t recall going over a curb and driving into a house.
She was given field sobriety tests, arrested, booked at the police station and given an $812.50 fine.
Last week late Wednesday night, police were called to the crash site of South Main Street and Cemetery Road.
A utility pole was hit. A disabled 2000 Chevy Cavalier was left behind. The driver fled on foot.
The car was towed to the city’s impound lot. Inside police say they found a scale with some marijuana.
The suspect, Austin J. Moucha, a UW-River Falls student, shouted out to one of the officers that was searching the neighborhood.
Moucha was located as he sat under a tree at Kennedy and Sycamore streets.
He allegedly gave a false name, denied driving his own car or being in a crash. He said someone else, maybe a friend, must have used his car.
Moucha was checked for injuries by an ambulance crew, then given field sobriety tests.
When it was over he was give citations totaling over $1,500 for these violations: Drunk driving, hit-and-run, obstruction, failure to notify police of an accident, and drug paraphernalia possession.
Korbin L. Burke, 20, 1450 S. Wasson Lane #5, was cited for drunk driving at 1:15 a.m. Friday in the 600 block of Sycamore Street.
Burke’s car went off the road and got stuck in a slope leading to a drainage ditch.
Burke was found with bloody cuts to his face and forehead. He was kept stationary until the ambulance came.
A male passenger said he warned Burke not to drive after drinking downtown.
He also claimed Burke was hurt only after getting out of his car and then tumbling into the ditch.
Burke was taken to the hospital emergency room. Told he would be cited for drunk driving, Burke refused to give a blood sample.
He was then written up to have his driving privileges revoked and given a $731 fine.
Hallie J. Dennison, 22, Roberts, had apparently been warned earlier not to drive because of her intoxication during a disturbance on Sycamore Street.
She was pulled over later, at 4:55 a.m. last week Tuesday, for swerving in a northbound lane on Main Street.
Dennison told the officer she was OK to drive now, but he said he wanted to make sure. She performed field sobriety tests, was arrested and brought to the police station.
There, Dennison allegedly said she’d been drinking rum from 10:30 p.m. to 1:15 a.m. and may have been “slightly under the influence.”
She was released to the sober care of her father and given an $812.50 fine.
All of the above drunk driving cases will be heard in River Falls Municipal Court on Wednesday, May 23.
Phil Pfuehler is editor for the River Falls Journal.