A man faces charges after he reportedly slammed his vehicle into a home in Westwood, narrowly missing the bedroom where a small child was sleeping.
Police say the driver, Robbie Andrew Bates, 24, was so drunk he didn’t even recall the time leading up to his crash into the Indian Mound Drive home of Ron and Becky Fryar.
“He stated several times he didn’t know where he was,” said McMinnville policewoman Rachel Nichols of the suspect’s admission, noting the last thing he remembered was crossing Westwood Bridge behind the wheel of the borrowed GMC Envoy.
Police responded to the Fryar home Friday evening, moments after neighbors reported seeing a vehicle speed through the residential neighborhood going about 75 mph. Officers found the GMC pinned against a tree and noted damage to a vehicle that had been parked in the driveway. There was also quite a bit of damage to the house, suggesting a high rate of speed.
“The outer wall of the residence was demolished,” Nichols said. “The wall that had been struck was intruding into a child’s bedroom.”
The bedroom was occupied by the Fryars' 5-year-old grandson.
“He barely missed the bedroom where the child was sleeping,” Nichols said. “He could have potentially killed the occupants of the home.”
While finding the wrecked GMC crashed in the Fryars' yard, there was no sign of the driver. Officers tracked the registration to a Morrison address but could not make contact with the owner. However, a few minutes later, police found Bates walking down a nearby street.
“A strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was coming from his person, his eyes were bloodshot and almost swollen shut,” Nichols observed, noting he had cut his elbow and had marks on his body consistent with wearing a seatbelt. “He said he had consumed a large amount of liquor and beer.”
Officers would later find Bates did not have a license and has repeatedly been arrested for driving on a revoked license. He was also on the drug court program. He told police he borrowed the car while no one was home at the residence he was visiting.
While Bates couldn’t be sure why he was in Westwood, he guessed he may have been going to see his sister who lives in the area. However, due to his intoxication, Bates was unsure what brought him to Westwood. He did recall he wore his seatbelt to avoid being pulled over by the police. The seatbelt may have saved his life given the velocity of the impact with the house.
Damage to the house is estimated around $20,000.