A suspected drunken driver crashed his vehicle into the showroom of a local remodeling business in the 700 block of North Main Street early Friday morning, causing substantial damage and resulting in the driver’s arrest for DUI, resisting arrest and other charges.
According to Pueblo Police Capt. Tom Rummel, police had been responding to a disturbance at an establishment in the area when an officer approached a vehicle he’d observed being driving recklessly.
As the officer approached, the driver, later identified as 20-year-old Shane Larson, sped away, heading in the wrong direction on Court Street.
At the intersection of Eighth and Court streets, an officer attempted to stop the car, but Larson fled at a high rate of speed, authorities said.
On eastbound Eighth Street, Larson lost control of the vehicle and hit a building before crossing Main Street and plowing into the showroom of Re-Bath/Southern Colorado Kitchens, businesses owned by Jim Patterson that operate through the same showroom.
Patterson said when he arrived at the scene at 3 a.m. Friday, “I saw a Cadillac sitting in the middle of my kitchen center, all the way in. It went all the way into the building: not just the hood, the whole car.”
Patterson estimated the damage caused by the wreck would cost between $30,000 and $40,000 to repair, but noted the total damage was twofold, as the building owners would also face substantial repair costs.
After the crash, the suspects fled on foot but were soon caught by officers.
Larson was arrested on charges of DUI, reckless driving, eluding, failure to present proof of insurance and resisting arrest.
No one was injured during the chase or subsequent crash.
As for Re-Bath/Southern Colorado Kitchens, Patterson said it will likely take between two and three months to repair the damage from the wreck.
The Re-Bath portion of the business was, according to Patterson, a new addition to the showroom that had only recently been completed. Coincidentally, invitations were set to be sent out Friday for a July 30 grand-opening ceremony and ribbon cutting.
But with the wreck and significant damage to repair, that celebration is now on hold.
“My only thought last night and today isn’t the grand opening, none of that is important,” Patterson said.
“I’m just so thankful that it happened in the middle of the night and that my employees or customers weren’t in there, because they would have been seriously injured or killed.
“It’s an inconvenience, but no lives were lost or hurt. … If it had been during the day, it could have been tragic.”