Holiday weekend sets off damaging DWI domino effect

NEW HANOVER COUNTY,NC(WECT)- A big holiday weekend has turned into an expensive mess for many.

Officials arrested several people during a checkpoint on Saint Patrick's Day but damage to driving records is only the beginning of other damages that were a result to the careless driving.

An SUV allegedly ran over a stop sign and almost hit the foundation of an apartment complex in Mayfaire. However, people like Craig Schutt might call that incident small potatoes.

"All of a sudden, it felt like an earthquake," said Schutt describing the crash noise he heard when a drunk driver drove into his home Saturday night. He said his 2 cars were damaged and his garage was completely destroyed. Schutt said officials estimate his home damage alone at more than $30,000,

As it turns out, Schutt's home was the finish line to the driver's alleged trail of destruction that night.

" There were 3 children, or high school kids, down in the road--he almost ran over them," said Schutt.

Eyewitnesses added that the driver was swerving all over the road in an attempt to leave his first collision.

"He hit a car 2 blocks down the road--it was a hit and run," said Schutt.

18-year-old Sarah Cliner was the one hit. Although there was little damage done to her car, she said the driver was in a state that could have caused a more severe accident.

"I get really mad when people drink and drive and apparently he was on some other things and I don't think he knew what was going on at that point."

Changing gears, but keeping with destructive driving

Speeding nearly 40 miles per hour over the speed limit and driving under the influence is the reason why the Market Street Domino's was serving customers out of a makeshift walk-thru window Monday.

"The driver hit 2 cars and then lost control of the vehicle and ran into the front glass of the building," said Domino's delivery driver Josh Smith.

Smith added that things could have been worse, particularly for the people who were inside the store lobby that night.

"It was actually kind of a grace of God that he hit where he hit," said Smith.

Finding thanks behind ruined facades, that the hits weren't as big as the misses.

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