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House in DL hit by car

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House in DL hit by car
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

Darlene McArthur of Detroit Lakes was sitting in her living room watching television just before 9 p.m. Sunday when her evening turned interesting.


"All of a sudden I heard a big, terrible bang," she said. "The pictures and everything fell off the wall and the radiator came off."

Jumping up to see what had happened, McArthur looked out her window to see a car had plowed right into the corner of her house -- just feet from where she was sitting in her recliner.

"I jumped up and hurried up and got my phone and called 9-1-1 because I knew those kids were hurt," said McArthur, adding that the Detroit Lakes Police Department was there almost instantly.

The driver of the 1995 Chrysler SLI was 26-year-old Timothy Heinonen of Detroit Lakes, and according to police, he was intoxicated and had lost control of the vehicle, skidding through the intersection of Bowling Avenue.

Heinonen's passenger, 42-year-old Shane Hanks of Detroit Lakes, was taken by ambulance to the Essentia Health St. Mary's Hospital in Detroit Lakes for serious injuries to his knees.

Heinonen was arrested and charged with felony criminal vehicular operations resulting in bodily harm.

"A DUI charge may be pending depending on the results of the blood tests," said Detroit Lakes Police Chief Tim Eggebraaten.

According to police reports, the damaged car did not belong to either men, but to Jessie Ann Pechia of Detroit Lakes.

The crash might have shaken McArthur, who thinks of how much worse it could have been had the car gone through the picture window in front of her, but it didn't surprise her much.

"At night at 1, 2 o'clock in the morning, I can hear them just start out," said McArthur. "It's just like a racetrack."

McArthur said she's had it with drunk drivers who rip around her neighborhood after the bars close, although there is no confirmation that the men in this accident had been in any bars.

McArthur worries that if something doesn't change in her neighborhood, somebody is going to be seriously hurt or killed.

"I just keep thinking, what if they had hit somebody else head on? A family or something," said McArthur. "This has to stop.

McArthur says she's not just concerned about the bar crowd, but also the sober drivers who speed around the neighborhood, which is located between north Roosevelt and Washington avenues.

"I really am concerned about this East Main because there are kids walking and playing around here," said McArthur, "I see a lot of cars ... and a lot of them are speeding, and I think, come on ... slow down. What's the big rush?"

Eggebraaten said the department hasn't had a rash of complaints from that neighborhood regarding chronic speeding or drunk driving, but added that if they do, they'll check into it.

"Certainly in her (McArthur's) location she may be able to hear the vehicles from the Northside (Bar)," said Eggebraaten. "We hear them also, and if we happen to hear the vehicle tearing off ... well, you know it's a tough situation to patrol because we can't be everywhere all the time.

"We do our best to be up in that area. We do our best to get the ones we can."

Meanwhile, McArthur is assessing the damage to her house and wondering why people don't walk or get a ride when out drinking.

"I don't know what to do," she said. "Just watch these drunks that leave the bars. This has to come to an end."