Crash results in $100,000 in damage for business
By Trudy Balcom
RAWLINS — Randy and Holly Dabb were sitting in the back room of their combined home and business enjoying watching a Colorado Rockies baseball game on the evening of July 6 when their world was turned upside down.
Randy, a Farmers insurance agent, has run his business out of the small building at 316 East Cedar St. in Rawlins for almost 20 years.
Now the Dabbs are moving their business to a new location after a 21 year-old woman drove a car into the building on July 6, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage. The building is now condemned.
According to an affidavit filed in Carbon County Circuit Court on July 8, Amanda Hart, 21, driving an older Lexus sedan crashed into the east side of the building while practicing driving.
The vehicle’s owner is Nicholas Stuthers, 37, who was a passenger at the time of the crash. Both are residents of Rawlins.
When interviewed by Rawlins Police investigator Dale Miller, both said they had been drinking. Struthers told him that on that evening Hart had showed up at his house, “…where both of them took a shot of whiskey,” the affidavit stated.
Then Hart asked to drive; the two were going out to pick up cigarettes, according to the affidavit.
Hart told Miller “…she used both feet to control the vehicle, (and) forgot or could not find the brake. Instead she floored the vehicle, it sped across (Cedar) street and smashed into the house there,” the affidavit stated.
Hart also told police she has a prescription for the anti-anxiety drug, Xanax, and that she had taken one earlier in the day. She told police that she is not supposed to “mix alcohol with her medication.”
The car struck the building so hard it cracked and the pushed the building off the foundation. Inside, two large heavy bookshelves were knocked over and the window broken. Holly said one bookcase with a large TV on it landed on Randy. Items on both bookcases were sent flying.
Holly was able to get up and help Randy. Both were unhurt. They could not immediately exit the building because the doors would not open because the building had shifted so much.
Struthers was taken to the hospital and later released; there was no report of any injuries to Hart.
The car involved in the crash was a total loss.
Hart has been charged with one felony — property destruction, and three misdemeanors – driving under the influence, reckless driving and driving without a license.
Struthers has been charged with felony accessory before the fact to property destruction and misdemeanor permitting an unlicensed person to drive.
A preliminary hearing in the case was scheduled for Friday, but was continued, and will be rescheduled.
Hart is being held on a $10,000 cash-only bond.
The Dabbs are packing to move the Farmers Insurance office to the Rainbow Te-ton Center at 116 Fourth St. in downtown Rawlins.
“I’m just glad that they can bail her out of jail, and not bury her,” Holly said of the driver.