UPDATE: Police said a driver had been drinking and was going an estimated 90 mph through the city before he crashed through the front porch of a house Wednesday.
Justin J. Brower, 28, of Cedar Rapids, was spotted by officers speeding down Ellis Boulevard NW around 9:40 p.m. just before his pickup went sideways and rolled through the front yard at 1701 Ellis Blvd. NW.
Brower ran away after the crash, but was caught about an hour later in Ellis Park, muddy and shoeless.
“He claimed to be out walking and had not been driving his pickup,” Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said.
Brower was arrested on suspicion of operating while intoxicated, reckless driving, speeding and failure to maintain control. A passenger, 28-year-old Cavin Kelly, was arrested at the crash site for public intoxication.
Dawn Langham, 67, who owns the house that was hit, had gone upstairs to her bedroom about 15 minutes before the crash. She was watching “Law and Order” when she was startled out of bed.
“It was this huge crash, then bright lights, and another crash, and bright lights,” Langham said. “Of course, that’s when it was rolling, and his lights were shining into my window.”
On Thursday morning, Langham was picking up shards of glass from her yard. She said Brower apparently had a box of 16 cocktail glasses in his pickup.
The pickup went through a pillar made of large concrete blocks, and destroyed a flower box made by flood-recovery volunteers. It barely missed the side of the house.
Police learned later that Brower’s pickup had clipped a sport-utility vehicle prior to the accident. No one was hurt in either of the collisions.
Langham was chuckling about it Thursday. She had been through worse, when floodwater swamped the house almost three years ago.
“I don’t have any tears left,” Langham said.