Victim of DUI, road rage crash shows the destruction of her home and memories
KENNEWICK, Wash. – A Kennewick woman is now forced out of her home and dealing with thousands of dollars of damage after two drunk drivers got into a road rage incident, crashing into her house.
Action News spoke to the victim, and she invited us inside to see the serious wreckage.
"I was in bed a little before 2 and I heard this horrendous noise and all of the sudden everything in my house started to shake,” said Cathy Merrill Holle, the homeowner. “Next thing I knew I was flying across the room into the wall."
At that moment, Cathy said she instinctively knew that something had hit her house.
"But it's terrifying because you know you have to open that door and look, and that your life is somehow never going to be the same," she said.
When she got to the staircase, she saw the truck that crashed through her kitchen, severely damaging the integrity of her home.
Kennewick police said James Dunlap and Quentin Parkins got into a bar fight at Village Tavern that spilled into the streets. Police said one man rammed another's truck, and the fight escalated.
"And that continued on the road, eastbound on Kennewick Ave. where it ultimately ended up in the 600 block of W Kennewick Ave. when both vehicles went off the roadway and struck separate houses," Sgt. Randy Maynard said.
Kennewick police arrested both Dunlap and Parkins for DUI. However, Sgt. Maynard said the men may face more charges once police finish their investigation. They now sit behind bars.
"It's terrible to witness the things that are important to you being taken away with disregard by someone that you don't even know," she said.
Insurance will rebuild her house, but Cathy said there are some things insurance can never replace, like her grandmother's keepsakes.
"She always made chicken pot pie with wonderful with homemade biscuits in that one particular dish I had on the counter," she said as she looked at the few shattered pieces.
In a drunken instant, Cathy said these men have taken away her good memories and good feelings, and replaced it with fear that if it happened once, it could probably happen again.
She hopes her misfortune will force people to think twice about drinking and driving or being reckless behind the wheel.
"Just stop and think, is this worth ruining your life for?” she said. “Not to mention the people you may maim or the houses you may destroy or the memories you might destroy," she said.
Cathy said she is very grateful for the Kennewick Police and Fire Department. She said they were extremely helpful and caring during the incident. She said they stayed on scene for nearly five hours, as they worked to get the situation under control.