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Suspected drunk driver crashes into Colorado Springs townhome, hits gas meter

Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 7:41 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Colorado Springs police believe a man was speeding and drinking when he reportedly crashed into a townhome and hit the gas meter.

The crash happened just after midnight Friday near Union Boulevard and Fountain Boulevard. Investigators say the driver of a Chevy Camaro was heading southbound on Union when he lost control and struck the building.

“He jumped the curb and flew in the air. Sparks were flying everywhere,” said Cory Ard.

Ard witnessed the crash while driving a friend home.

“I saw this gray car come speeding down,” Ard said. “He immediately turned left, just made a crazy left turn.”

Ard says he pulled over and helped the driver get out of the car, then dragged him down the hill away from the wreckage. He immediately smelled gas.

“He fought me the whole way down,” said Ard. “He said he wanted to get back into his car.”

Ard told 11 News reporter Catherine Silver the leaking gas made a loud hissing sound, like a fire hose was turned on.

“I thought to myself, ‘There’s gas, there’s a car that’s smoking, and this thing could blow up,” Ard said. “So, I just started knocking on all the doors.”

Shequan Smith lives inside the townhome that was hit. The single mother of five says she woke up when one of her kids started screaming.

“It was a different kind of scream,” said Smith. “I heard people outside yelling and someone banging on my door. I opened the door and he was like, ‘Get out!’”

Smith says two of her kids were still asleep. She grabbed them all and ran out.

The family is safe, but the damage to their unit is significant. From the outside, you can see the damaged wall and pieces of the gas meter and the Camaro scattered on the ground.

“It’s one of those things that you hear about it, you see other people experience it, and you never really think that it could be you,” said Smith.

Ard says he smelled alcohol on the man he pulled from the car. He says when confronting the driver after the rescue, the man claimed he was not drinking.

Police say Anthony Vigil is now facing charges for DUI. They suspect speed and alcohol were both contributing factors in the crash.

“The sole decision to drink and drive has displaced a family in the winter,” said Ard. “They have to figure out what they’re gonna do and fend for themselves. It’s pretty frustrating.”

Ard has set up a “meal train” to help the Smith family while they are out of their home and dealing with the repairs. If you would like to donate, click here.

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