Huffing alleged in car-house wreck in Mitchell Monday
A 19-year-old man allegedly inhaled compressed air to get high before running into two vehicles, a concrete barrier, a sign and then a house Monday afternoon in Mitchell.
River Malatare, of Mitchell, was arrested after the incident. He told law enforcement that he had inhaled or “huffed” air from an air duster, said Officer Kelly Loudenburg, of the Mitchell Police Division.
“He had no recollection of anything during the accident,” Loudenburg said.
Malatare was driving a 1997 Pontiac car owned by the passenger, Dylan Lancer, 19, also of Mitchell. The two were headed north on Sanborn Boulevard over the viaduct when their car rear-ended two vans waiting at the First Avenue and Sanborn intersection.
“A van was in the turning lane and another van was in the inside lane, side by side, waiting to proceed,” Loudenburg said.
The car struck the van in the inside lane first, driven by Tamara Renken, 42, of rural Mitchell.
“He pushed it very hard,” Loudenburg said. Renken’s vehicle was pushed first into a concrete barrier and ended up on the opposite side of the street.
The second van was damaged but was not struck as severely.
The Pontiac continued north in the wrong lane, Loudenburg said, and then went onto the sidewalk and hit a concrete barrier. The vehicle then struck a street sign post, broke it and crossed all four lanes in the 200 block of Sanborn and struck the front of a house on the east side of Sanborn.
No one inside the house was injured. The car damaged the foundation and siding, but Loudenburg did not have an immediate estimate of the cost of the damage.
Malatare and Lancer were each charged with ingesting an intoxicant other than alcohol to become intoxicated, a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence upon conviction of one year in jail, a $2,000 fine or both. Both were arrested and booked into the Davison County Jail. Malatare was also cited for first-offense driving under the influence and no proof of insurance.
Malatare was transported to Avera Queen of Peace Hospital by Mitchell Ambulance for head and neck pain. He hit his head on the windshield, Loudenburg said. He was checked and released at the hospital.
Lancer was checked and released at the scene by ambulance personnel. There was evidence he hit his head on the windshield as well, but he was not seriously injured.
Renken, the driver of one of the vans, complained of head pain but was checked and released at the scene. She later went to the hospital on her own, complaining of vision problems and head pain, Loudenburg said. James Kerr, of Mitchell, driver of the second van, was not seriously injured.
Renken and Kerr were both wearing seat belts, Loudenburg said. It is unclear whether Malatare and Lancer were wearing seat belts, he added.
The Mitchell Fire Division also responded to the scene and Vern Eide towed the Pontiac, which was totaled. Loudenburg estimated $1,200 in damage to Kerr’s vehicle and $3,000 in damage to Renken’s vehicle.